Prevalence, pattern & correlates of hypertension among tribal population of Kashmir, India: A cross-sectional study

Indian J Med Res. 2021 Mar;154(3):467-475. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_48_19.


Background & objectives: The prevalence of hypertension is increasing among all ethnic groups across the globe with only a handful of studies from India addressing the prevalence of hypertension among tribal population. In view of paucity of data, this study was aimed at estimating the prevalence of hypertension and associated risk factors among tribal population of Kashmir, India.

Methods: This cross-sectional survey included 6808 tribals aged >20 yr (5695 Gujjars and 1113 Bakarwals) from five randomly selected districts of Kashmir. Modified WHO-STEPS surveillance questionnaire was used to collect relevant data. Hypertension was defined by Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of Hypertension (JNC 8) criteria.

Results: The mean age of our study participants was 43.12 ± 15.69 years. Overall prevalence of hypertension [95% confidence interval (CI)] was 41.4% (39.9-42.9%) [men=46.7% (44.1-49.1%); women=37.9% (35.9-39.9%)]. The prevalence of prehypertension (95% CI) in our study was 35 per cent (33.7-36.6%). Higher age [adjusted odds ratio (OR) (95% CI): >70 yr-2.2 (1.9-2.4)], passive smoking [OR-1.3 (1.1-1.5)], family history of hypertension [OR-1.6 (1.4-1.7)] and obesity [OR-1.3 (1.1-1.6)] were significantly associated with hypertension. A weak positive correlation was observed between BP (systolic/diastolic) with haemoglobin, red blood cell count and haematocrit (P<0.05).

Interpretation & conclusions: Gujjar and Bakarwal tribes of Jammu and Kashmir showed high prevalence of hypertension. Hence, urgent policies and reforms are needed to tackle this silent epidemic and further studies focusing on community-based interventions are required.

Keywords: Age; Kashmir; hypertension; prevalence; tribal population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prehypertension*
  • Prevalence