A study has found that more than 22 percent of men and women in Uganda have high blood pressure. While prevalence of other cardiovascular disease risk factors were not as high, the study said that population-based data on the burden of these risk factors can aid in the planning and implementation of an effective response to the double burden of communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases in Uganda and other low-income countries undergoing an epidemiological transition.

The prevalences of diabetes and high blood sugar were 0.4 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. But most Ugandans with diabetes or hyperglycemia were not aware of it. Less than one percent of men and four percent of women were obese, with 3.6 percent of men and 14.5 percent of women being overweight. The proportions of male and female smokers were only 13.7 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Existing research infrastructure for HIV surveys in Africa can provide a platform for assessing the prevalence of other conditions such as cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to the study.

1. Maher D, Waswa L, Baisley K, et al. Distribution of hyperglycaemia and related cardiovascular disease risk factors in low-income countries: a cross-sectional population-based survey in rural Uganda. International Journal of Epidemiology, published online 5 Oct 2010. (open access)