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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 1/2014

Pattern of blood pressure distribution and prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension among adults in Northern Ethiopia: disclosing the hidden burden

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2014
Mekoya D Mengistu
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2261-14-33) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.



Hypertension is the 3rd cause of death accounting for one in eight deaths worldwide. Hypertension was thought to be rare in Africa, but it is now recognized as one of the most important cerebrovascular diseases contributing to about 40% of these diseases in the continent.
The aims of this study were to describe the pattern of blood pressure distribution among adults, and determine prevalence of prehypertension and hypertension among adults in Northern Ethiopia.


The study was done on a community-based sample of 1183 adults of 697 (58.8%) urban and 486 (41.1%) rural residents using statistical multistage sampling procedures. The study was based on the recent WHO and JNC-7 classification of blood pressure. Multi-item structured questionnaires were also developed to elicit additional information on the subjects.


The overall prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension in the study population was 18.1% and 37.2%, respectively. The prevalence of hypertension positively correlated with body mass index and age in both urban and rural residents (P = 0.001). Sex and age adjusted mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) was statistically higher in urban than in rural population (P = 0.001).


Hypertension was found to have high prevalence in the study region. However, people’s awareness and control of hypertension was found to be very poor. Lack of a clear hypertension prevention guidelines and strategies nationwide can aggravate the impact of cardiovascular diseases.
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