Prevalence, awareness and control of hypertension in Uganda

PLoS One. 2013 Apr 17;8(4):e62236

Musinguzi G, Nuwaha F.

Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.



Prevention and control of hypertension are critical in reducing morbidity and mortality attributable to cardiovascular diseases. Awareness of hypertension is a pre-condition for control and prevention. This study estimated the proportion of adults who were hypertensive, were aware of their hypertension and those that achieved adequate control.


We conducted a community based cross sectional survey among people ≥ 15 years in Buikwe and Mukono districts of Uganda. People had their blood pressure measured and were interviewed about their social-demographic characteristics. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg, or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg, or previous diagnosis of hypertension. Participants were classified as hypertensive aware if they reported that they had previously been informed by a health professional that they had hypertension. Control of hypertension among those aware was if systolic blood pressure was <140 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure was <90 mmHg.


The age standardized prevalence of hypertension was 27.2% (95% CI 25.9-28.5) similar among females (27.7%) and males (26.4%). Prevalence increased linearly with age, and age effect was more marked among females. Among the hypertensive participants, awareness was 28.2% (95% CI 25.4-31.0) higher among females (37.0%) compared to males (12.4%). Only 9.4% (95% CI 7.5-11.1) of all hypertensive participants were controlled. Control was higher among females (13.2%) compared to males (2.5%).


More than a quarter of the adult population had hypertension but awareness and control was very low. Measures are needed to enhance control, awareness and prevention of hypertension.

PMID: 23614041



Geofrey Musinguzi-1

NB: y axis = Percentage and x axis=age groups

The figure above depict that young women less than 35 years were less likely to be hypertensive compared to young men of the same age group. Above 35 years the trend reversed with more women than men likely to be hypertensive.


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