Hypertension awareness, treatment and control at Vubachikwe Mine, Gwanda, Zimbabwe, 2013
Chimberengwa, Pugie Tawanda
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Background: In July 2012, according to the chronic disease register Vubachikwe mine had at least 1 in every 10 workers suffering from hypertension. However about 30 workers had defaulted hypertensive treatment that is offered free at the mine clinic. The management was concerned about lost to shift hours and high costs of medical care due to hypertension related illness among employees. Therefore we set out to evaluate the prevalence of hypertension and the reasons why employees defaulted treatment. Methods: An analytic cross sectional study was done at Vubachikwe mine. Systematic sampling was used. An interviewer administered questionnaire adopted and modified from the WHO STEPwise survey was used to capture; demographic data, risk factors and awareness of hypertension. Biophysical measurements; weight, height, random blood sugar and blood pressure were measured. Results: Ninety three percent of employees were aware of their blood pressure. The prevalence of hypertension was 27.2% while males were 6 times more likely to develop hypertension compared to females. Awareness of hypertension increased with age, (p<0.05). Thirty five percent of hypertensives were non-compliant to treatment and 70% of hypertensives had well controlled blood pressure. Earning more than US$600 per month was significantly associated with being diagnosed of hypertension compared to those that earn below US$300 (POR 1.5; 95% CI, 0.46-0.93). ). However, heavy manual workers were less likely to be diagnosed of hypertension [POR 0.19 (0.042-0.852) 95% CI] and they also earned less than US$300 per month. Family history of blood pressure was associated with being diagnosed with hypertension (POR 9.03; 95%CI, 4.49-18.21 Conclusion: This study showed that the prevalence of hypertension is higher in males and increases with age. The factors associated with hypertension include a positive family history and earning a salary above US$600 which is associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Heavy manual workers who earned less than US$300 were less likely to be diagnosed of hypertension. Based on the study findings, the mine management has instituted interventions targeted at health educating workers on hypertension and defaulters will be traced, given psychosocial support and encouraged to comply with medication.
blood pressure control
College of Health Sciences