Prevalence and risk factors of hypertension among pregnant mothers attending antenatal clinic in fort portal regional referral hospital
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Around 15% of pregnant women are expected to develop life-threatening complications during pregnancy, at delivery or post-partum. In Asia and Africa, nearly one tenth of all maternal deaths are associated with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, whereas one quarter of all maternal deaths in Latin America have been associated with those complications. In Uganda, it was found out that 13% of women with severe obstetric complications had hypertensive disorders, preeclampsia (54.1%), eclampsia (42.7%) and chronic hypertension (13%). Therefore, the prevalence of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy was estimated to be 13%. This study aimed at establishing the prevalence of hypertension in pregnant women aged 15 to 49 years attending antenatal clinic at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital. A cross-sectional descriptive study design using semi-structured questionnaire guided interviews was used to collect information from 110 pregnant mothers aged between 15-49 years attending antenatal clinic at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital during the study period and consented to participate in the study. The obtained data was interpreted, analyzed and presented using Statistical Package for Social Sciences software (SPSS). Majority (34.5%) of the pregnant mothers were between 15-24 years of age, only 1.8% were married, 39.1% had stopped schooling in lower primary, 63.6% were unemployed and 60.9% had an average monthly income between Ug shs. 60,000-200,000. Almost all (92.7%) of the pregnant women had an optimal nutrition status, 6.4% were moderately malnourished and only 0.9% were severely malnourished. The overall prevalence of hypertension during pregnancy was 5.5% and 39.1% of the mothers being pre-hypertensive. Majority (70%) of the women complained of lower back ache and only 9.1% presented with edema. Over half (62.7%) of the mothers met the minimum requirements of consuming at least 5 food groups out of 10 recommended food groups. The study showed evidence of association between family history of hypertension (p=0.000) and hypertension during pregnancy, nutrition knowledge (p= 0.038) and antenatal care attendance. Hypertension is no health problem among the pregnant women in Fort Portal. Majority of the mothers had positive attitudes towards the management of hypertension, however they did not put into practice the nutritional knowledge they had. Family history of hypertension showed sufficient evidence as a risk factor for hypertension during pregnancy.