Hypertension Prevalence, Awareness, and Control Among Parents of School-Aged Children in the United Arab Emirates

Syed M. Shah, Layla M. Almarzouqi, Romona Devi Govender, Javaid Nauman, Moien A.B. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Increased blood pressure (BP) is a major cardiovascular disease risk factor. The study aimed to determine the prevalence and predictors of hypertension and its awareness and control among parents of school-aged children in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: A total of 605 parents participated in this cross-sectional study. Information on socio-demographics, lifestyle factors, and history of chronic disease were collected through an adapted version of the World Health Organization STEPS questionnaire. Fasting blood glucose samples, BP measurements, body mass index (BMI), and waist and hip circumference were obtained using standard measurement protocols. Prevalence of hypertension was identified in the cohorts by defining hypertension using the 2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines (BP≥130/80 mmHg) and the World Health Organization-International Society of Hypertension Guidelines Orchid (BP≥140/90 mmHg) in association with antihypertensive medication use. Results: The mean age of participants was 42.9±7.9 years. The prevalence of hypertension was 37.2% (95% CI: 33.5–41.2) and 18.0% (95% CI: 15.2–21.3), using the 2017 and the previous WHO definitions, respectively. Little over half of the sample (51.5%) who were aware of having hypertension reported using antihypertensive medications. Of those reporting the use of antihypertensive medications in the past two days, 13 of 33 patients (39.4%) had their hypertension under control (<140/90 mmHg). The independent correlates of hypertension included age [(adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.09 (1.05–1.13], male sex [AOR: 2.48 (1.41–4.34], college or higher education [AOR: 0.22 (0.09–0.56)], family history of hypertension [AOR: 2.03 (1.17–3.53)], obesity [AOR: 3.15 (1.24–7.12)], and moderate or vigorous physical activity [AOR: 0.50 (0.26–0.98)]. Conclusion: Hypertension is prevalent among parents of school-going children. Improving lifestyle, health literacy, and introducing innovative models to raise awareness and education about hypertension are essential to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1393
Number of pages13
JournalPatient Preference and Adherence
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Arabs
  • United Arab Emirates
  • blood pressure
  • medication adherence
  • native population
  • parents
  • primary care
  • sustainable development goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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