International Journal of Noncommunicable Diseases

: 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 45--48

Magnitude and correlates of hypertension among geriatric women in a resettlement colony of Delhi

Tulika Singh1, S Nagesh2,  
1 Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 School of Medical Science and Research, Sharda University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Tulika Singh
33/23, 1st Floor, West Patel Nagar, New Delhi - 110 008


Background: Hypertension is one of the most important causes of mortality and morbidity in the geriatric age group. Objective: The objective was to study the magnitude and correlates of hypertension among geriatric women in a resettlement colony of Delhi. Materials and Methods: A community-based, cross-sectional study for the duration of 1 year was conducted among 512 geriatric women (≥60 years). Demographic characteristics and behavioral risk factors were determined by interview, and the participants underwent physical examination (blood pressure, height, weight, and waist circumference). Chi-square and unpaired t-tests were employed to study the association between risk factors and hypertension followed by multivariate regression analysis. Results: The prevalence of hypertension was 16.01%. Age, marital status, socioeconomic status, financial dependence, tobacco and alcohol use, physical activity, coexisting diabetes, body mass index, and waist circumference were significantly associated with hypertension on univariate analysis. In multivariate analysis, tobacco use, coexisting diabetes, and obesity were significant explanatory variables for hypertension. Conclusion: This study identifies some of the major factors associated with hypertension in geriatric women. Therefore, community-based approaches for improving awareness regarding hypertension and its risk factors and lifestyle modifications are essential to reduce the burden.

How to cite this article:
Singh T, Nagesh S. Magnitude and correlates of hypertension among geriatric women in a resettlement colony of Delhi.Int J Non-Commun Dis 2017;2:45-48

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Singh T, Nagesh S. Magnitude and correlates of hypertension among geriatric women in a resettlement colony of Delhi. Int J Non-Commun Dis [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Nov 30 ];2:45-48
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The geriatric age group constitutes 8.1% of India's population and is one of the most rapidly expanding segments of population.[1] The increase in longevity due to improvement in health care has led to relentless increase in geriatric population as well as related morbidities such as cardiovascular (CVS) diseases. Worldwide, women live longer than men leading to a process called the “feminization of later life” and are more vulnerable due to biological, social, cultural, and economic factors.

Hypertension has emerged as an important public health problem worldwide. Globally, CVS disease accounts for approximately 17 million deaths a year.[2] Of these, complications of hypertension account for 9.4 million deaths worldwide every year. Hypertension is responsible for at least 45% of deaths due to heart disease and 51% of deaths due to stroke. According to recent estimates, Southeast Asia has a prevalence of 24.7%.[3] Various epidemiological studies have indicated rising prevalence of hypertension in India as well.[4],[5]

After menopause, the prevalence of hypertension in women is higher than that in men, and CVS disease is the leading cause of death in women.[6] The increasing prevalence of hypertension is attributed to population growth, aging, and behavioral risk factors, such as unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol, lack of physical activity, excess weight, and exposure to persistent stress.[7] Several studies have firmly established that treatment of hypertension in elderly significantly reduces CVS morbidity and mortality.[4],[8]

In India, with increase in geriatric population, the prevalence of hypertension is bound to increase. Yet, there is a scarcity of studies assessing the prevalence of hypertension in geriatric women. In our study, we investigated the magnitude and correlates of hypertension in a cross-section of geriatric women of a resettlement colony of Delhi.

 Materials and Methods

Study design

A community-based, cross-sectional study for a period of 1 year was carried out among geriatric women in the resettlement colony of Kalyanpuri.


Using the formula n = 4pq/l2, taking prevalence as 43.5%,[9] the sample size came out to be 509. Out of 11 blocks of Kalyanpuri, six were randomly selected and all geriatric women residing in these blocks were enrolled in the study. Thus, the final sample size was 512.

Study tools and variables

A pretested structured questionnaire that sought information on sociodemographic characteristics, medical history, tobacco/alcohol use, and physical activity was administered. Participants were also subjected to anthropometric and blood pressure measurements using standardized procedures.


After obtaining informed written consent, participants were interviewed using pretested questionnaire. During the interview, two measurements of blood pressure using a digital blood pressure monitor (OMRON) were obtained in right arm sitting position with rest of at least 5 min. The first measurement was recorded after obtaining demographic information from the subject, and the second measurement was recorded after a brief clinical examination. The average of two readings of the systolic and diastolic blood pressure was used as the blood pressure of the participant. Participants were categorized as hypertensive if they had a systolic blood pressure of ≥140 mm of Hg or/and diastolic blood pressure of ≥90 mm of Hg or those taking antihypertensive medication.

Statistical analysis

Data were entered in Excel sheet, and statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 17.0 (IBM SPSS Inc., NY, USA). Chi-square test and unpaired t-test for the categorical and continuous variables were employed, respectively, to study the association between various parameters. Further, variables with P < 0.05 in univariate analysis were then included in the multivariate logistic regression analysis.


In our study, 82 (16.01%) geriatric women were found to be hypertensive and newly diagnosed hypertension was 5.1%. [Table 1] shows the categorical sociodemographic attributes of geriatric women with reference to their blood pressure status. A significant association was observed between hypertension and marital status (P = 0.001), socioeconomic status (P = 0.001), financial dependence (P = 0.008), presence of tobacco use (P< 0.001), presence of alcohol use (P< 0.001), absence of physical activity (P = 0.007), and coexisting diabetes (P< 0.001).{Table 1}

[Table 2] shows the continuous sociodemographic variables of geriatric women with reference to their blood pressure status. The mean age group of hypertensive and normotensive geriatric women was 66.06 ± 5.24 and 64.33 ± 5.87, respectively. There was a significant difference (P< 0.001) in the body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference of hypertensive and normotensive geriatric women.{Table 2}

[Table 3] represents the results obtained by multivariate analysis. The odds were higher in geriatric women who used tobacco (OR 1.372 [95%CI= 1.016-5.199], P = 0.002) and who had co-existing diabetes (OR 2.832 [95% CI = 1.146-5.077], P = 0.041). The OR of BMI and waist circumference in hypertensive geriatric women was 3.011 (95% CI = 1.078–8.407) and 3.872 (95% CI = 1.488–10.073), respectively.{Table 3}


In the present study, prevalence of hypertension among geriatric women was 16.01%. A similar prevalence of 15.2% was reported by Goswami et al. in Delhi.[10] Hypertension was present in all participants having CVS morbidity according to the Joint National Committee-7 criteria.[11] It ranged from 12.9% to 59.1% in various studies.[10],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16] The difference in prevalence of hypertension may be due to variation in tool, methodology, nature of population itself, accessibility to health services and observer bias, etc., Various studies have shown a higher prevalence in women as compared to men in the geriatric age group.[3],[11],[13]

BMI and waist circumference, measures related to overweight and obesity, were significantly higher in hypertensive participants than in normotensive participants. These findings were similar to previous studies.[5],[17],[18] Our study did not find an association between physical activity and hypertension on multivariate analysis. This could be due to the population studied as geriatric women are already suffering from various musculoskeletal morbidities and cannot carry out regular physical activity and hence did not give a history of regular physical activity.

Diabetes was associated with increased odds of being hypertensive. Various studies have revealed similar results.[5],[17],[18],[19] The coexistence of hypertension and diabetes might be because of sharing common risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity.

These findings clearly reflect the multifactorial nature of hypertension similar to other noncommunicable diseases. Several of these factors could be targeted to improve their health status.


This study determined a high prevalence of hypertension and its association with various lifestyle-related factors. Therefore, community-based approaches for improving awareness regarding hypertension and its risk factors and lifestyle modifications are essential to reduce the burden.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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