Hypertension threat as only 8pc of Kenyans on treatment


Hypertension is the most common cardiovascular risk factor in Africa with one in every three adult Africans affected. FILE PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Only eight percent of Kenyans living with hypertension are on treatment despite the high prevalence of the disease.

Ministry of Health data shows that about a quarter of the adult population (above 18 years) have high blood pressure, translating to 6.8 million people, a clear indication of the burden of this non-communicable disease.

The high prevalence is coupled with low hypertension awareness, treatment, and control.

“Hypertension is a growing concern worldwide and is one of the greatest contributors to premature death resulting from cardiovascular disease. This is partly attributed to the late diagnosis due to its asymptomatic nature,” said the ministry.

According to the ministry, the high prevalence is associated with older age, higher Body Mass Index, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and higher socioeconomic status.

Non-modifiable risk factors include a family history of hypertension; age above 65 years and co-existing diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease.

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