Hypertension and its risk factors among postmenopausal women in Delhi
Background: Hypertension is the commonest cardiovascular disorder, posing a major public health challenge to population in epidemiological transition. The prevalence of hypertension increases with age and is more common in men as compared to women. But women loose this advantage after menopause due to estrogen deficiency. Objectives: 1. To assess the prevalence of hypertension and risk factors for hypertension among postmenopausal women in an urban community in Delhi. 2. To study association of risk factors with hypertension. Methodology: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted at Palam, an urbanized village in Delhi. A total 416 postmenopausal women were interviewed, examined and investigated. Results: Majority (78%) of postmenopausal women were in the age group of 45-65 years. More than three fourth 342 (82.4%) of women belonged to lower middle and upper lower socio-economic status. The prevalence of hypertension in these women was 39.6%, another one third (37%) were pre-hypertensive. All women had one or more than one risk factor for hypertension. The most common risk factors were high salt intake (82.7%), low vegetable and fruit intake (64.2%), stress (53.2%) and truncal obesity (36.1%). Risk factors like diabetes, obesity, smoking and physical inactivity were significantly more common in hypertensive as compared to non-hypertensive. Conclusion: Burden of hypertension among postmenopausal women in the present study was found to be high. Interventions integrating promotive, preventive and curative care for postmenopausal women should be provided to them.