Simpson, S. H.; Duff, Edith M.; Whittle, Sybil; Wilks, Rainford J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Advanced Nursing Education
Profile of uncontrolled hypertensive patients attending the Specialist Hypertension Clinic, University Hospital of the West Indies
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
The purpose of this study was to describe the knowledge of hypertension, its management, anthropometric measurements, blood pressure (BP), medication use, and current lifestyles of patients with persistent hypertension. Patients (n = 80) attending the Specialist Hypertension Clinic at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) who had a baseline systolic BP > 140 mmHg and/or a diastolic BP > 90 mmHg were invited to participate in the study. Blood pressure, height, weight, waist and hip circumferences were measured. Body mass index (BMI) and waist/hip ratio (WHR) were calculated. A pretested questionnaire with 40 items eliciting demographic data, level of activity, dietary habits, knowledge of hypertension, medication compliance, use of alternative medicines, and substance use was administered to each participant. Mean BMI for men was 27.65 (95% CI 25.7-29.6); mean BMI for women was 30.89 (95% CI 26.1-35.7). In men, there was an association between BMI and WHR, r = 0.62, p < 0.05, an association between BMI and diastolic BP and a negative association between BMI and activity level (r = -0.42, p < 0.05). There was also an association between systolic BP and substance use (r = 0.41, p < 0.05). Although the majority of both men and women were classified as obese, only 12% of men and 7% of women recognized diet and overweight as contributing to high blood pressure. Reported diets tended to be high in fat, salt and meats and low in vegetables and fruits; the majority of the participants were sedentary. Medication compliance was good, with a mean of only four days of medications missed per month. These findings suggest that to lower blood pressures in this population, the use of nonpharmacologic therapy involving lifestyle changes such as improved diet, weight loss and increased physical activity will be important.....