The prevalence of hypertension and its associated risk factors in a newly developed country.Saudi Med J 2004; 25(7):918-22SM
The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and its association with the sociodemographic, behavioral, and lifestyle characteristics of the adult qatari population.
This is a cross-sectional study, which was carried out in primary health care clinics (PHCs). The survey was conducted from January through to July 2003 among qatari nationals 25-65-years of age. Of the 1500 patients who were approached to participate in study, 1208 (80.5%) gave their consent. Face-to-face interviews were based on a questionnaire that included variables on age, sex, socioeconomic status (SES), parity, income level, cigarette smoking, physical activity, lifestyle, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure. Hypertension was defined according to the world health organization criteria as systolic blood pressure (SBP) >140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) >90 mm Hg, or both.
Overall, the prevalence of hypertension (BP >/=140 or >/=90 mm Hg, or both or known hypertensive) was 32.1% (32.6% in men and 31.7% in women). The age-standardized prevalence of hypertension (adjusted to the adult population of Qatar) was 31.1% (95% confidence interval 26.7-35.5%) in men and 30.2% in women (95% confidence interval 25.8-34.6%). The CVD risk factor of obesity was more prominent among women 528 (78.3%) than among men 334 (68.9%) (p<0.001). Physical inactivity was again predominant among women and found to be highly significant. A stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed that diabetes (p<0.0001); hormonal problems (p<0.0001), consumption of animal fats (p<0.0001), risk of heart disease (p<0.0001), and BMI (p=0.0307) were all associated with hypertension.
The present study was directed at determining the prevalence and risk factors of high blood pressure in the adult population of Qatar. The characterization of these factors will contribute to defining more effective and specific strategies to screen for and control hypertension and CVD.