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Prevalence of hypertension among the elderly Malays living in rural Malaysia

Author(s): Rashid AK | Azizah AM

Journal: Australasian Medical Journal
ISSN 1836-1935

Volume: 4;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 283;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Elderly | hypertension | rural | Malaysia.

BackgroundWe are living in an ageing world. The prevalence ofhypertension which is an established risk factor forcardiovascular disease and stroke increases with age. Theaim of the study was to determine the prevalence ofhypertension among the elderly Malays living in rural partsof north Malaysia.MethodThis cross-sectional study was conducted among the elderly(aged ≥60) Malay residents living in 22 villages in a northwesternstate called Kedah in Malaysia from 2007 to 2009.Kedah has one of the highest rates of elderly population inthe country. Data was collected by trained researchassistants. Besides the baseline demographic information,blood pressure was measured using standardised methodsusing a manual sphygmomanometer.ResultsThe response rate was 97.7%. The prevalence ofhypertension among the elderly in these villages was 54.5%(228), 118 (28.2%) were known to be hypertensive andwere on medication and an additional 110 (26.3%)respondents were newly diagnosed. Elevated mean systolic(146.17 ± 25.23) and diastolic (89.68 ± 15.60) bloodpressure was noted among the known hypertensive. Therewas an almost fourfold risk (OR 3.64) of having uncontrolledblood pressure among the known hypertensive ontreatment. Those with malnutrition were at an almosttwofold at risk of being hypertensive (OR 1.73). Binarylogistics regression showed occupation (OR 1.65), maritalstatus (OR 2.32) and body mass index (BMI) (OR 1.62) assignificant predictor variables.ConclusionScreening the elderly for hypertension will benefit thisgroup of people by reducing the morbidity and mortalityassociated with this condition
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