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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 213-222

Prevalence of hypertension among firefighters in Rivers State, South- South, Nigeria

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Kingsley Enyinnah
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1115-2613.278930

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BACKGROUND: High blood pressure is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa and firemen (firefighters) may be especially predisposed to it or even exacerbate pre-existing hypertension as a result of the nature of their job. This study was to determine the prevalence of hypertension among firemen in Rivers state,South-South Nigeria. METHODS: Following ethical clearance,125 consenting firemen of the Rivers State Fire Service were recruited in this descriptive cross sectional study. They responded to a pre-tested, structured, closed-endedself-administered questionnaire which probed their socio-demographics, knowledge, attitude and practice towards hypertension. Also,their blood pressures,heights and weights were measured from where Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated. A Walk Through Survey for immediate work place situation and safety was carried out. Data collected were later analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistical tools. RESULTS: There was a 9.6% prevalence of hypertension among this group of workers in Rivers State. The workforce was essentially young with a modal age group of between 31-36 years. The attendant associated risk factors included altered sleep patterns, over weight and smoking which were all statistically significant P < 0.05. Whilst knowledge of hypertension was high (96%),the behaviour of respondents towards prevention and control of hypertension was poor. CONCLUSION: There ishypertension among firemen of the Rivers State Fire Service occasioned by modifiable risk factors despite adequate knowledge. It is recommended that intensive health education, early detection and treatment be instituted among this group of workers.

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