Lifestyle and Health:Understanding the prevalence of hypertension among the elderly persons in Kiruddu Referral Hospital, Kampala District
Kemigisa, Divine Mercey
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This study examined health and lifestyle of the elderly persons with hypertension in Kiruddu Referral Hospital in Kampala district. It assessed the prevalence and trend of hypertension, examined how individual lifestyle is responsible for hypertension, and assessed the effects of hypertension on the elderly persons in Kampala. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design which included both survey and key informant methods. Data was collected from 151 respondents at Kiruddu Referral Hospital and six key informants at a single point in time. Quantitative and qualitative analysis was done using SPSS, Jamovi and thematic approach respectively. Findings showed that the majority (87 percent) of respondents perceived the prevalence and trend of hypertension as high among the elderly persons. Unhealthy lifestyles such as high levels of stress and smoking were stated as leading risk factors associated with hypertension among elderly persons. Healthy lifestyle modifications such as eating a balanced diet, following doctor’s instructions, exercising and avoiding stress were noted as ways to decrease the prevalence of hypertension among elderly persons. The study also observed that hypertension is a leading killer disease among elderly persons and is further responsible for disabilities, stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure. The study recommends a life course approach to hypertension prevention. In addition to the need for lifestyle modification, drug therapy, the study also recommends the creation of awareness about hypertension amidst other several hypertension reduction approaches.