Hypertension and associated factors in older adults in South Africa

SOURCE: Cardiovascular Journal of Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, N.Phaswana-Mafuya
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7636
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/3016

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Background: Older adults are disproportionately affected by hypertension, which is an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Little attention has been focused on hypertension and associated factors among older adults in Africa. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of hypertension in a national sample of older South Africans who participated in the Study of Global Ageing and Adults? Health (SAGE) in 2008. Methods: In 2008 we conducted a national, population-based, cross-sectional study of a sample of 3 840 subjects aged 50 years or older in South Africa. The questionnaire included socio-demographic characteristics, health variables, and anthropometric and blood pressure measurements. Results: The prevalence of hypertension in the sample population was 77.3% (male 74.4%, female 79.6%). The rates of awareness, treatment and control among the hypertensive participants were 38.1, 32.7 and 17.1%, respectively. The results of multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the prevalence of hypertension was associated with being in the Coloured population group, having had a stroke, being overweight or obese and having had five or more out-patients care visits in the past 12 months. Hypertension was inversely associated with current alcohol use. Conclusion: This study revealed high rates of hypertension among older adults (50 years and more) in South Africa, which puts them at risk for cardiovascular disease. The percentages of hypertensive subjects who were aware, treated and controlled were very low. These data underscore the urgent need to strengthen the public health education and blood pressure-monitoring systems to better manage hypertension among older adults in South Africa.