Hypertension (HTN) is the main modifiable risk factor in the prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases. Lifestyle modification may prevent development or reverse symptoms of HTN.
To determine the proportion of individuals diagnosed with HTN that were provided lifestyle modification advise by Health Care Providers (HCP) in Kenya.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Secondary data analysis of cross-sectional data collected among 4500 Kenyan adults (18-69 years) participating in the 2015 Kenya STEPwise Approach to Surveillance study (STEPs).
Lifestyle modification advice was assessed using the question: “During any of your visits to a doctor or other health worker in the past 12 months, were you advised to do any of the following? a) Eat at least 5 servings of fruit and/or vegetables each day, b) Reduce fat in your diet, c) Start or do more physical activity, d) Maintain a healthy body weight or lose weight, e) Reduce sugary beverages in your diet.” Diagnosis of HTN was determined by the response to the question, “Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health worker that you have raised blood pressure or hypertension?” Descriptive statistics and cross tabulations were used for data analysis.
Almost half (49%) of the participants had been screened for HTN with 484 (21.8%) reporting that they were diagnosed with HTN. Of those diagnosed, 37% were advised to increase intake fruits and vegetables; 37%, 27% and 25% were advised to reduce salt, fat, and sugary beverages intake respectively; and 21% and 22% were advised to start or do more physical activity, and maintain a healthy body weight or lose weight, respectively. Those with no education, low wealth status and younger were significantly (P < .005) less likely to have received this advice.
Majority of those diagnosed with HTN had not received lifestyle modification advice from HCP despite this being a policy recommendation in Kenya. Policy makers need to work closely with HCP to develop appropriate policy implementation strategies.