Diabetes and hypertension: public awareness and lifestyle - findings of a health mela

Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Objective: To determine the frequencies of diabetes, hypertension and their established lifestyle risk factors and to assess the level of awareness about diabetes and hypertension amongst persons attending a health mela at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Karachi.Design: Cross-sectional, analytical study.PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: One-day health mela held at AKUH, Karachi.SUBJECTS AND Methods: A total of 264 participants were administered structured questionnaire to obtain demographic data and perceptions about diabetes and hypertension after taking verbal informed consent. Height, weight, blood pressure and random blood glucose were measured.Results: Overall frequency of type 2 diabetes was 13.6%, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) 8.3% and hypertension 24%. Frequency of diabetes and hypertension in both men and women increased with increasing age(p<0.001) and body mass index (p=0.02). Over half the men and women with type 2 diabetes (53% and 57% respectively) and 42% men and 60% women with IGT also had hypertension. Diabetes and hypertension were correctly defined by 52% and 37% subjects respectively and this was significantly associated with educational level (p=.001). Lack of physical exercise was observed in 59% participants, while 53.6% men and 67.5% women were overweight/obese. As compared to women, men used more additional salt (p=0.03) and had more outside meals (p<0.001) and snacks (p=0.01).CONCLUSION: High frequencies of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, unhealthy nutrition and lack of exercise were observed in the study population. Emphasis on health education is needed to increase public awareness of the warning signs and risk factors of these common conditions.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan