Aust. J. Rural Health (2012) 20, 219–225
Prevalence of hypertension and pre-hypertension in rural
women: A report from the villages of West Bengal, a state in the eastern part of India
Anindita Dutta, PhD,1,2 and Manas Ranjan Ray, PhD2
College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China; and Department of Experimental Hematology, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, India
Objective: To ﬁnd out the prevalence of hypertension,
pre-hypertension and tachycardia among the women in
rural areas of West Bengal, identify co-factors associated with the prevalence and contribute to the body of evidence for future health programs to identify at-risk
Design: A population-based cross-sectional study was
Setting: The study was conducted in remote villages.
Participants: 1186 women participants, aged 18 years
or more were included.
Main outcome measures: They were interviewed using
standard structured questionnaire. Blood pressure and
tachycardia was monitored using digital sphygmomanometer. For each participant, we made two blood pressure measurements with an interval of 48 hours. Data was analysed statistically using SPSS software.
Results: Overall prevalence of hypertension in the study
subjects was 24.7% and that of pre-hypertension and
tachycardia was 40.8% and 6.4%, respectively. Both
hypertension and pre-hypertension were seen to increase
with age. Other identiﬁed signiﬁcant factors were use of biomass fuel for cooking, absence of separate kitchen,
higher body mass index (BMI), education and average
Conclusion: This study suggests quite high prevalence
of hypertension as well as pre-hypertension among the
women of rural areas. The ﬁndings are signiﬁcant from
the women health perspectives. Early detection of prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects will help to Correspondence: Dr Anindita Dutta, International Senior
Research Scholar/Postdoctoral Fellow, Zhu Tong Group,
College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Room #
217, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China. Email:
Both authors contributed equally to the research and manuscript preparation. Accepted for publication 7 May 2012.
formulate intervention strategies to allay the spread of
KEY WORDS: female, hypertensive, pre-hypertensive,
tachycardia, village area.
Hypertension and pre-hypertension are important
public health issues in India. There are very few studies
detailing the prevalence of hypertension as well as prehypertension in the eastern part of the country. Two recent studies have documented high rate of arterial
hypertension in some parts of rural India.1,2 But there is
a paucity of study concentrating on both hypertension
as well as pre-hypertension from the eastern part of
India. Hence, it is important to run a similar study in the
rural parts of West Bengal, which is a state located in the
eastern part of India. This study was, thus, undertaken
with a view to determine the prevalence of hypertension,
pre-hypertension and tachycardia among women of
rural West Bengal.
Hypertension is considered as a primary risk factor
for cardiovascular diseases (CVD).3,4 It is a multifactorial trait that results from the net effect of environmental and genetic factors. Elevated systolic blood pressure is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis, cerebrovascular and coronary artery diseases, congestive heart failure, renal failure, peripheral vascular disease
and premature death.5,6 A relatively small but sustained
increase in diastolic blood pressure also increases the
risk for coronary events and strokes by approximately
30% and 40%, respectively.7,8
Similarly, tachycardia (pulse rate > 100 beats per
minute) is a potential health hazard. Higher resting
heart rate is a simple and useful indicator of...
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