PREVALENCE OF HYPERTENSION AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN IN NSUKKA URBAN, ENUGU STATE (2007 – 2011)
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of hypertension among pregnant women in Nsukka Urban from 2007-2011.To achieve the purpose of the study, five objectives were formulated with corresponding research questions and four hypotheses were formulated. The descriptive survey research method utilizing the expost-facto design was used for the study. The instrument for data collection was a researcher designed hypertension in pregnancy inventory Proforma (HIPI). Five experts in the Department of Health and Physical Education and Department of Science Education validated the proforma. The population for the study consisted of all registered pregnant women in the twenty –three health facilities in Nsukka urban of Nsukka L.G.A in Enugu State from 2007-2011. This gave an estimated population of 23,520 pregnant women, while the sample for the study consisted of 706 cases. Data collected from the health facilities were used for analysis. In analyzing the data, frequencies and percentages were used to answer the research questions while chi-square statistic was used to test all the null hypotheses at .05 level of significance. The result of the study showed that the highest prevalence cases (26.3%) and (25.1%) were recorded in 2007 and 2009 respectively while the lowest prevalence cases occurred in 2010 (14.5%). Pregnant women aged 30-49 years recorded the highest prevalence of (90.7%) while the lowest prevalence was recorded in pregnant women aged 15-29 years (9.5%). Prevalence of hypertension was also higher in pregnant women who have up to 6-9 children and above (66.9%) while lowest prevalence occurred in pregnant women who have 0-5 pregnancies. The highest cases of prevalence of hypertension among pregnant women were recorded among the uneducated pregnant wormen (65.4%) while the educated pregnant women recorded the lowest. Pregnant women who are civil servants and traders recorded the highest prevalence of (75.7%) cases of hypertension while those who are house wives and farmers recorded the lowest. From the findings of the study, it was therefore recommended that there should be continual increase in creation of awareness on possible factors that can predispose pregnant women to hypertension as this has been shown to be responsible in the reduction of hypertension, awareness should be created for women on the dangers of late pregnancy cases, so as to enable them control their chances of getting pregnant as they get older, adequate birth control measures should be put in place and adopted by women so as to check the number of children a woman will have thereby reducing their chances of hypertension cases during pregnancy, poor level of education has been implicated in the high prevalence of hypertension, therefore adequate awareness and education should be provided for pregnant women with primary education on the factors associated with hypertension, It is also recommended that appropriate policies should be put in place by the government to reduce work load on women during pregnancy, such policies may include among others pregnancy leave or break.