Epidemiology of hypertension in Northern Tanzania: a community-based mixed-methods study.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable to the growing global burden of hypertension, but epidemiological studies are limited and barriers to optimal management are poorly understood. Therefore, we undertook a community-based mixed-methods study in Tanzania to investigate the epidemiology of hypertension and barriers to care. METHODS: In Northern Tanzania, between December 2013 and June 2015, we conducted a mixed-methods study, including a cross-sectional household epidemiological survey and qualitative sessions of focus groups and in-depth interviews. For the survey, we assessed for hypertension, defined as a single blood pressure ≥160/100 mm Hg, a two-time average of ≥140/90 mm Hg or current use of antihypertensive medications. To investigate relationships with potential risk factors, we used adjusted generalised linear models. Uncontrolled hypertension was defined as a two-time average measurement of ≥160/100 mm Hg irrespective of treatment status. Hypertension awareness was defined as a self-reported disease history in a participant with confirmed hypertension. To explore barriers to care, we identified emerging themes using an inductive approach within the framework method. RESULTS: We enrolled 481 adults (median age 45 years) from 346 households, including 123 men (25.6%) and 358 women (74.4%). Overall, the prevalence of hypertension was 28.0% (95% CI 19.4% to 38.7%), which was independently associated with age >60 years (prevalence risk ratio (PRR) 4.68; 95% CI 2.25 to 9.74) and alcohol use (PRR 1.72; 95% CI 1.15 to 2.58). Traditional medicine use was inversely associated with hypertension (PRR 0.37; 95% CI 0.26 to 0.54). Nearly half (48.3%) of the participants were aware of their disease, but almost all (95.3%) had uncontrolled hypertension. In the qualitative sessions, we identified barriers to optimal care, including poor point-of-care communication, poor understanding of hypertension and structural barriers such as long wait times and undertrained providers. CONCLUSIONS: In Northern Tanzania, the burden of hypertensive disease is substantial, and optimal hypertension control is rare. Transdisciplinary strategies sensitive to local practices should be explored to facilitate early diagnosis and sustained care delivery.

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Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018829

Publication Info

Galson, Sophie W, Catherine A Staton, Francis Karia, Kajiru Kilonzo, Joseph Lunyera, Uptal D Patel, Julian T Hertz, John W Stanifer, et al. (2017). Epidemiology of hypertension in Northern Tanzania: a community-based mixed-methods study. BMJ Open, 7(11). p. e018829. 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018829 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15851.

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Scholars@Duke

Galson

Sophie Wolfe Galson

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Galson graduated from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Arizona. She has always had a love for global health and has worked in India, Madagascar and Tanzania during her medical training. She completed the Global Health Emergency Medicine Fellowship in 2018.  
Dr. Galson's research is focused on non-communicable diseases in the emergency department and linkage to care in Moshi, Tanzania. She is interested in the intersection of public health and emergency care and hopes to promote the development of emergency medicine globally. Additionally, she loves to teach and instructs both residents and medical students in the classroom and clinically in the emergency department.  She joined Duke Emergency Medicine as faculty after the completion of her fellowship.

Staton

Catherine Ann Staton

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Catherine Staton MD MSc

Dr. Staton is an Associate Professor in Emergency Medicine (EM), Neurosurgery & Global Health with tenure at Duke University. She is the Director of the GEMINI (Global EM Innovation & Implementation) Research Center and the EM Vice Chair of Research Strategy & Faculty Development. Her research integrates innovative implementation methods into health systems globally to improve access to acute care. In 2012, with an injury registry at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Tanzania Dr. Staton demonstrated 30% of injury patients had at risk alcohol use, providing preliminary data for a K01/Career Development Award. Her K01 award adapted a brief alcohol intervention to the KCMC ED and Swahili and is now being trialed in an NIAAA funded R01 pragmatic adaptive clinical trial. Dr. Staton and her mentor and collaborator Dr. Mmbaga are co-PD of the “The TReCK Program: Trauma Research Capacity Building in Kilimanjaro” to train 12 masters and doctoral learners to conduct innovative implementation and data science projects to improve care for injury patients. Currently, Dr. Staton and GEMINI partners with over a dozen faculty from over 6 low- and middle-income countries to conduct research, has mentored over 150 learners from undergraduate to post-doctoral levels from high, middle and low- income settings and has over 130 manuscripts.

Patel

Uptal Dinesh Patel

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine

Uptal Patel, MD is an Adjunct Professor interested in population health with a broad range of clinical and research experience. As an adult and pediatric nephrologist with training in health services and epidemiology, his work seeks to improve population health for patients with  kidney diseases through improvements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Prior efforts focused on four inter-related areas that are essential to improving kidney health: i) reducing the progression of chronic kidney disease by improving its detection and management, particularly by leveraging technology to facilitate engagement and self-management; ii) elucidating the inter-relationships between kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, which together amplify the risk of death; iii) improving the evidence in nephrology through comparative effectiveness research, including clinical trials, observational studies, and meta-analyses; and iv) promoting more optimal clinical health policy for all patients with kidney disease. These inter-disciplinary projects have been funded by a variety of public and private sources including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Veterans Affairs, National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Renal Physicians Association, and the American Society of Nephrology. 

Current efforts seek to advance novel therapies for kidney diseases through early clinical development that he leads at AstraZeneca.

Hertz

Julian T Hertz

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine

Julian Hertz, MD, MSc, is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine & Global Health. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and attended medical school at Duke University, where he received the Dean's Merit Scholarship and the Thomas Jefferson Award for leadership. He completed his residency training in emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and his fellowship in Global Health at Duke.

Dr. Hertz's primary interests include global health, implementation science, and undergraduate and graduate medical education. Dr. Hertz's research focuses on using implementation science methods to improve cardiovascular care both locally and globally. His current projects involve developing interventions to improve acute myocardial infarction care in Tanzania, to improve management of hypertension among Tanzanians with HIV, and to improve post-hospital care among patients with multimorbidity in East Africa.

Dr. Hertz has received numerous awards for clinical, educational, and research excellence, including the Duke Emergency Medicine Faculty Teacher of the Year Award, the Duke Emergency Medicine Faculty Clinician of the Year Award, and the Duke Emergency Medicine Faculty Researcher of the Year Award. He has also received the Golden Apple Teaching Award from the Duke medical student body, the Duke Master Clinician/Teacher Award, and the Global Academic Achievement Award from the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine.


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