Dietary patterns and their association with blood pressure control among hypertensive patients aged 18+ years attending care at Kiruddu General Referral Hospital
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Introduction: Uncontrolled hypertension is one of the leading modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Optimal blood pressure can be achieved by putting in place strategies that encourage intake of healthy diets, a long term commitment to lifestyle modifications and pharmacologic therapy among hypertensive patients. Minimal information exits on the relationship between dietary patterns and blood pressure control in developing countries like Uganda. This research aimed at determining the dietary patterns and their association with blood pressure control among hypertensive patients attending care at Kiruddu General Referral Hospital. Methods: A cross sectional study design was adopted and patients were selected using random sampling method. The study was conducted on a sample of 75 hypertensive patients receiving care at Kiruddu Hospital. Dietary patterns were established using a 7 day food frequency questionnaire. A structured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Science. At bivariate analysis, chi-square test was done to test for independent association with blood pressure control. A p-value of <0.05 was used as criterion for statistical significance. Results: Only 37.3% of hypertensive patients had their blood pressure within recommended limits. The only dietary pattern that was significantly associated with blood pressure control was the consumption of starchy foods (p=0.033); and obesity as the clinical factor (p=0.24). Conclusion: Poorly controlled blood pressure is an important public health concern among hypertensive patients at Kiruddu Hospital. Measures that would lead to better dietary practices should be put in place for proper hypertension management.