BACKGROUND: Hypertension (HT) epidemiological studies in developing regions of the world like rural Guatemala are lacking.
METHODS: A sample size of 1104 subjects (552 females, all 18 years or older) was obtained through quota and geographical clustering in the entire Department of Sololá, Guatemala. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used.
RESULTS: Average systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressures were significantly higher in men compared with women (116.24 vs 113.80 mm Hg, 75.24 vs 72.69 mm Hg, and 88.91 vs 86.39 mm Hg, respectively; all with P < .05). The crude prevalence of HT was 12.5% with no gender differences. Women had a significantly higher mean body mass index (BMI) than men (26.25 vs 24.71 kg/m(2), P < .001). An abnormally high waist circumference (WC) was found in 12.7% of men and in 50.7% of women. Significant associations were found between the presence of HT, age ≥55 years, and an elevated WC. The single most important isolated risk factor for HT was age in women (OR 6.76, 95% CI 3.59-12.72) and WC in men (OR 3.23, 95% CI 1.52-6.87). Increased BMIs (≥25-30 or ≥30 kg/m(2)) were not associated with HT in this study. Residing in Sololá's capital was a protective factor in women (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.13-0.83).
CONCLUSION: Hypertension and associated anthropometric risk factors are present in rural regions of Guatemala. Significant associations are found between gender, age ≥55 years, and increased WC but not with an increased BMI in this population.
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