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Glob Public Health. 2011;6(3):293-306. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2010.510478.

Assessment of hypertension control in a district of Mombasa, Kenya.

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Department of African Studies and Public Health, Yale University, Lexington, MA, USA.


As populations move to urban centres across East Africa, lifestyle habits that affect cardiovascular disease have changed, affecting non-communicable disease risk. In particular, the prevalence of hypertension, and associated awareness of this life-threatening condition, has not been studied in Mombasa, Kenya. This paper assesses the rates of prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in Old Town, an urban district of the coastal city. We surveyed 469 subjects, gathered via a clustered sampling technique. Age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension was measured at 32.6% (± 2.2) for adults over 18 and was linearly related to age. Results indicate that hypertension awareness was associated with age and sex, as women were substantially more likely to be aware of and to control their hypertension. Only 23.2% (± 2.0) of subjects had knowledge of both the causes of and practical solutions to hypertension, and practical hypertension knowledge was associated with hypertension awareness and gender (women had higher rates of knowledge than men). These results indicate that hypertension is a real public health concern in Old Town, and that younger individuals, particularly males, are least likely to be aware of the dangers of hypertension. Public health measures should focus on this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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