Determinants of Behavioral Risk Factors of Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy

Author(s): Nkem Ernest Njukang, Thomas Obinchemti EGBE, Martin Sama, Tah Aldof Yoah, Joseph Kamgno

Background: Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (HDP) remain a major public health problem worldwide, and its prevalence varies from country to country and from institution to institutions. Few studies have explored the behavioral risk factors of hypertension (HTN) among pregnant women in Cameroon. Thus, this study aimed at determining the prevalence and socio-demographic predictors of behavioral risk factors of HDP in Mezam division.

Methods: A Hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Mezam division. Over 1210 pregnant women were sampled by consecutive sampling. Descriptive statistics, chi-square (χ2) test and multivariate logistic regression were used for analysis.

Results: There was poor uptake of behavioural risk factors: alcohol (21.6%), physical inactivity (49.2%), low fruits/vegetables intake (80.7%), high salt intake (12.4%), stress (48.8%) and overweight/obese (65.5%). Sociodemographic predictors: Age was a risk factor for smoking [Adjusted Odd Ratio (AOR), 95%Confidence interval (CI); (25-29 years): 1.6 (1.1-2.4) & (≥35 years): 2.3 (1.4-3.6)], alcohol [(25-29 years): 1.5 (1.1-2.2) & (≥35 years): 2.5 (1.5-4.1)] and over weight/obesity [(25-29 years): 1.6 (1.2-2.2), (30-34 years): 2.6 (1.8-3.9) & (≥35 years): 2.5 (1.5-4.1)]. Education [secondary school: 1.8 (1.3-2.6) & high school: 2.4 (1.6-3.6)] and Occupation [petit traders: 1.8 (1.4-2.8) & business/employed: 1.9 (1.3-2.9)] were predictors of stress. Religion [Pentecostal: 1.8 (1.1-3.1)] was predictor for high salt consumption.

Conclusion: There was poor uptake of behavioural risk factors of HDP. Age, education, occupation and Religion were predictors of behavioural factors of HTN. There is need for immediate health promotion interventions such as raising community awareness and appropriate antenatal counseling.

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