Background: The emerging burden of high blood pressure (HBP) and diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa will create new challenges to health systems in African countries. There is a scarcity of studies that have reported associations of diabetes and HBP with socioeconomic factors on women within the population. We assessed the prevalence and socioeconomic factors of diabetes and high blood pressure among women in Kenya.
Methods: We analysed cross-sectional data from the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey. Subjects were women aged 15-49 years. Self-reported status of HBP and diabetes was used to measure the prevalences. The association between educational and wealth index with HBP and diabetes was assessed by multivariable binary logistic regression.
Results: The prevalences of self-reported HBP and diabetes were 9.4% and 1.3%, respectively. Women with secondary [aOR = 1.53; 95% CI = 1.15-2.02] and primary [aOR = 1.48; 95% CI = 1.15-1.92] levels of education were more likely to report having HBP, compared to those with no formal education. However, there was no significant association between educational level and self-reported diabetes. In terms of wealth quintile, we found that women with higher wealth quintile were more likely to report having HBP and diabetes compared to those with poorest wealth quintile. Specifically, the highest odds of self-reported HBP was found among women with richest wealth quintile compared to those with poorest wealth quintile [aOR = 2.22; 95% CI = 1.71-2.88]. Also, women with poorer wealth quintile were more likely to have self-reported diabetes compared to those with poorest wealth quintile [aOR = 1.89; 95% CI = 1.08-2.38].
Conclusion: The prevalence of HBP and diabetes was low among women in Kenya. Household wealth status was associated with HBP and diabetes. No causation can be inferred from the data; hence, longitudinal studies focusing on health-related behaviour associated with NCDs are recommended. Proper dissemination of health information regarding the risk factors for HBP and diabetes may prove to be beneficial for NCD prevention programmes.
Keywords: Diabetes; Global Health; High blood pressure; Kenya; Non-communicable diseases; Sub-Saharan Africa.
© 2021. The Author(s).