Socio-demographic and lifestyle factors associated with hypertension in Nigeria: results from a country-wide survey

Azuka S. Adeke, Babangida S. Chori, Dinesh Neupane, James E. Sharman, Augustine N. Odili

With the rising prevalence of hypertension, especially in Africa, understanding the dynamics of socio-demographic and lifestyle factors is key in managing hypertension. To address existing gaps in evidence of these factors, this study was carried out. A cross-sectional survey using a modified WHO STEPS questionnaire was conducted among 3782 adult Nigerians selected from an urban and a rural community in one state in each of the six Nigerian regions. Among participants, 56.3% were women, 65.8% were married, 52.5% resided in rural areas, and 33.9% had tertiary education. Mean ages (SD) were 53.1 ± 13.6 years and 39.2 ± 15.0 years among hypertensive persons and their normotensive counterparts respectively. On lifestyle, 30.7% had low physical activity, 4.1% consumed tobacco currently, and 35.4% consumed alcohol currently. In comparison to unmarried status, being married (OR = 1.88, 95% CI: 1.41-2.50) or widowed (OR = 1.57, 95% CI: 1.05-2.36) was significantly associated with hypertension, compared with never married. Compared with no formal education, primary (OR = 1.44, 95% CI: 1.12-1.85), secondary (OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.04-1.81), and tertiary education (OR = 2.02, 95% CI: 1.57-2.60) were associated with hypertension. Low physical activity (OR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.05-1.42), alcohol consumption, (OR = 1.18, 95% CI: 1.02-1.37), and unemployment status (OR = 1.42; 95% CI: 1.07-1.88) were also associated with hypertension. Our study indicates an association of socio-demographic and lifestyle factors with hypertension, hence, there is a need for counselling, health education and policy formulation and implementation targeting these factors to prevent and control hypertension.