Hypertension is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa, and Nigeria, the most populous country in the continent, hugely contributes to this burden.
To provide an improved estimate of the prevalence and number of cases of hypertension in Nigeria based on the cut-off ‘at least 140/90 mmHg’, towards ensuring better awareness, control and policy response in the country.
We conducted a systematic search of Medline, EMBASE and Global Health from January 1980 to December 2013 for population-based studies providing estimates on the prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria. From the extracted crude prevalence rates, we conducted a random-effects meta-analysis, and further estimated the overall awareness rate of hypertension in Nigeria, expressed as percentage of all hypertension cases. We applied a meta-regression epidemiological modelling, using United Nations population demographics for the years 2010 and 2030, to determine the prevalence and number of cases of hypertension in Nigeria for the 2 years.
Our search returned 2260 publications, 27 of which met our selection criteria. From the random-effects meta-analysis, we estimated an overall hypertension prevalence of 28.9% (25.1, 32.8), with a prevalence of 29.5% (24.8, 34.3) among men and 25.0% (20.2, 29.7) among women. We estimated a prevalence of 30.6% (24.5, 36.6) and 26.4% (19.4, 33.4) among urban and rural dwellers, respectively. The pooled awareness rate of hypertension was 17.4% (11.4, 23.3). The overall mean SBP was 128.6 (125.5, 130.8) mmHg, and the DBP was 80.6 (78.5, 82.7) mmHg. From our modelling, we estimated about 20.8 million cases of hypertension in Nigeria among people aged at least 20 years in 2010, with a prevalence of 28.0% (24.6, 31.9) in both sexes – 30.7% (24.9, 33.7) among men and 25.2% (22.7, 31.9) among women. By 2030, we projected an increase to 39.1 million cases of hypertension among people aged at least 20 years with a prevalence of 30.8% (24.5, 33.7) in both sexes – 32.6% (27.3, 38.2) among men and 29.0% (21.9–32.2) among women.
Our findings suggest the prevalence of hypertension is high in Nigeria, and the overall awareness of raised blood pressure among hypertension cases is low in the country. We hope this study will inform appropriate public health response towards reducing this burden.