High prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension among men in North Central Nigeria: Results from the Healthy Beginning Initiative

PLoS One. 2020 Nov 30;15(11):e0242870. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0242870. eCollection 2020.


Background: The prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria is high and growing. The burden and risk factor distribution also vary by geographical zone. Information about prevalence, risk factors and disease status awareness are needed to guide evidence based public health response at the national and sub- national levels.

Purpose: This paper describes the prevalence of hypertension and its correlates, as well as hypertension status awareness among men in North Central, Nigeria.

Methods: A cross sectional survey was administered to male partners of pregnant women participating in the Healthy Beginning Initiative program from 2016-2018. Information on socio-demographic characteristics, risk factors, physical measurement and blood pressure readings were collected using a standardized protocol. Data was analyzed with simple and multiple logistic regression.

Results: The 6,538 men had a median age of 31 years [IQR: 26-37]. The prevalence of hypertension was 23.3% (95% CI: 22.3%-24.4%), while 46.7% had prehypertension. The odds of hypertension was associated with increasing age (OR:1.02, CI:1.01-1.03), being overweight (aOR:1.5,CI:1.3-1.8), being obese (aOR:2.6,CI:2.0-3.3), living in an urban area (aOR:1.6,CI:1.2-2.1), and alcohol use in the 30 days prior (aOR:1.2,CI:1.1-1.4). Overall, 4.5% (297/6,528) of participants had ever been told they have hypertension. Among the 23.3% (1,527/6,528) with hypertension, 7.1% (109/1,527) were aware of their disease status. Men aged 41-50 years (aOR: 1.8, CI: 1.0-3.3), and > 50 years (aOR: 2.2, CI: 1.1-4.3), had higher odds disease status awareness. Living in an urban area was associated with lower odds (aOR: 0.2, CI: 0.03-0.7) of hypertension status awareness.

Conclusion: This study showed that hypertension is already a significant public health burden in this population and that disease awareness level is very low. Alcohol use and obesity were associated with hypertension, highlighting some modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors that are prevalent in the study population. Taken together, these findings can inform the design of interventions for primary and secondary cardiovascular disease prevention in Nigeria and similar settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / pathology
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Overweight / diagnosis
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population