Association between hypertension, obesity and dietary intake in post-menopausal women from rural Zambian communities

Joseph M. Chalwe, Upasana Mukherjee, Christa Grobler, Saidon H. Mbambara, Wilna Oldewage-Theron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Amongst the cardiovascular risk (CVR) factors, hypertension (HT) and obesity appear to be prominent in post-menopausal women. The underlying mechanisms of HT development in menopause are not fully understood. Aim: To determine the association between HT, obesity and dietary intakes in post-menopausal women from rural Zambia. Setting: This study was conducted in Twatasha Compound of Kitwe and Ndeke Community of Ndola. Methods: Blood pressure (BP), weight, height and dietary intakes (24-h recall) were measured in 153 women (> 50 years) from households. The South African Hypertension Society (SAHS), the World Health Organization (WHO) and estimated average requirements (EARs) guidelines were followed for HT, obesity and dietary intake definitions, respectively. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 26 was used for descriptive and inferential statistical analyses. Results: Prevalence of HT was 70%, whilst 37.25% and 28.10% of the participants were overweight and obese, respectively. The median interquartile range (IQR) dietary intakes showed inadequate intakes for most nutrients, except for carbohydrates (170 g [133; 225]). The total fat intake represented 14% of total energy intake. All median fatty acid intakes and sodium intakes (409 mg [169; 662]) were below the recommended levels. Only body mass index (BMI) correlated with HT (r = 0.268; p = 0.001). Conclusions: Despite low dietary intakes, an alarming prevalence of HT and obesity was found in our population. Hormonal changes, a high energy-dense diet and poor treatment adherence, may be possible underlying factors. We recommend measures to better manage HT as a CVR factor. Contribution: This article supplements evidence on the prevalence of obesity-related hypertension in post-menopausal women and the link to dietary intake.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera1496
JournalHealth SA Gesondheid
StatePublished - 2021


  • Diet
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Post-menopausal
  • Rural
  • Zambia


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