Geographical variation in prevalence of hypertension within The Gambia

Marianne van der Sande, P J Milligan, G E Walraven, W M Dolmans, M Newport, O A Nyan, W A Banya, T Thien, R Ward, K P McAdam

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Hypertension has become an important public health problem for sub-Sahara Africa. In a previous nationwide study, we observed a high degree of geographical variation in the prevalence of diastolic hypertension. Geographical variation provides essential background information for the development of community randomised trials could suggest aetiological mechanisms, inform control strategies and prompt further research questions. We designed a follow-up study from the nine high-prevalence communities, and from 18 communities where hypertension was found least prevalent (controls). In each community, 50 households were randomly selected. In each household, an (unrelated) man and woman were enrolled. The risk for hypertension (blood pressure > or =160/95 mm Hg) was higher in the high prevalence communities compared to the control villages (adjusted OR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.3-2.2). The observed coefficient of variation in hypertension prevalence, k, was 0.30. Thus we confirmed significant geographical variation in prevalence of hypertension over time, which has implications for planning of interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)733-739
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gambia/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity/epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment/statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors


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