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Ethiop Med J. 2011 Apr;49(2):139-47.

Prevalence and determinants of hypertension in rural and urban areas of southern Ethiopia.

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Hawassa University, Medical Faculty, Hawassa, Ethiopia.



Hypertension is an important public health challenge in both economically developed and developing countries.


To asses the magnitude of hypertension in rural and urban southern Ethiopia.


A cross sectional survey was conducted on 979 study participants in Sidama Zone, South Ethiopia from November 1-30, 2008. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and standardized procedures recommended by the WHO MONICA project for the measurement of the anthopometric variables. Analysis was done using SPSS 15.0 version.


Out of 979 participating subjects. 485 were from urban and 494 were from rural. The prevalence of hypertension was 9.9% with 10.1% in urban and 9.7% in rural areas ranging from 4.2% in those below 30 years to 29.4% in those above 60 years. Bivariate analysis showed hypertension was highly occurred more in those above 30 years old, in those with the family history of hypertension, and a BMI > or =25 kg/m2. Hypertension also correlated with, less physical activity, extended family size, personal and family history of diabetes mellitus, measured dysglycemia, excess meat consumption and drinking alcohol. Multivariate analysis showed similar correlation of increased possibility of hypertension with being over 30 years, having a family history of hypertension, a BMI > or =25 kg/m2. and excess meat consumption. Tea drinking was found as a protective factor for hypertension on bivariate and multivariate analysis.


Hypertension has equal public health importance in urban and rural settings of southern Ethiopia. Hypertension is common among those age over 30years. overweight, consume excess meat and have family history of hypertension. Drinking tea may have a protective effect for hypertension.

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