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J Hum Hypertens. 1999 Jan;13(1):37-40.

Hypertension and renal failure in Kumasi, Ghana.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.


Hypertension is common in West Africa and likely to become more common as urbanisation increases. There are at present few facilities for the detection and management of hypertension so the influence it has on overall morbidity and mortality in the population is not clear. The objectives of the study were to assess: (a) renal disease and blood pressure related admissions and deaths among acute medical admissions to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, during an 8-month period; and (b) the burden of renal disease among out-patient hypertensives at the same hospital. Ward admission books were examined in the four acute medical wards to ascertain admission diagnosis and cause of death (two 4-month periods in 1995 and 1996). Clinical assessment (blood pressure, plasma creatinine, proteinuria) was also made of 448 consecutive out-patient hypertensives seen between March 1995 and April 1996. Five hundred and ninety-three (17.9%) of 3317 acute medical admissions were ascribable to a cardiovascular cause (hypertension, heart failure, stroke); 171 (28.8%) of these died. One hundred and sixty-six (5.0%) had renal disease of whom 45 (27.1%) died, usually of end-stage renal disease. Among the 448 hypertensive out-patients, 30.2% (110 out of 365) had a plasma creatinine >140 micromol/l (48 > or = 400 micromol/l) and 25.5% (96 out of 376) had proteinuria. Eighty-nine of the 448 had a diastolic blood pressure > or =115 mm Hg; in this group 38 (42.7%) had a plasma creatinine of >140 micromol/l (and 18 or 20.2% > or =400 micromol/l). In conclusion, cardiovascular and renal disease are important contributors to morbidity and mortality among acute medical admissions to a large city hospital in Ghana. Among out-patient hypertensives renal disease is an important complication, especially in those with the more severe hypertension.

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