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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3192149, 19 pages
Review Article

Determinants of Mean Blood Pressure and Hypertension among Workers in West Africa

Department of Epidemics and Disease Control, West African Health Organisation, 01 BP 153, Bobo-Dioulasso 01, Burkina Faso

Received 20 October 2015; Revised 3 January 2016; Accepted 6 January 2016

Academic Editor: Csaba Farsang

Copyright © 2016 William K. Bosu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. This review was undertaken to estimate the mean blood pressure and evaluate its determinants as well as the determinants of hypertension among workers in West Africa. Methods. In a follow-up to an earlier study, a systematic search for articles published between 1980 and August 2015 was undertaken using major databases. Results. A total of 55 articles involving 34,919 different cadres of workers from six countries were retrieved. The mean systolic blood pressure (BP) ranged from  mmHg to  mmHg while the mean diastolic BP ranged from  mmHg to  mmHg. Population-wide prehypertension was common. The major determinants of mean BP and hypertension were similar and included male sex, older age group, higher socioeconomic status, obesity, alcohol consumption, plasma glucose, and sodium excretion. Ethnicity and educational level were inconsistently associated with hypertension. Workers at higher risk of cardiovascular event did not perceive themselves as such. Conclusion. The prevailing mean prehypertensive BP, low perception of risk, and clustering of risk factors call for interventions such as healthy diets, improved physical activity, and a favourable work environment. Successful models for improving the cardiovascular health of sedentary informal sector workers in Africa are urgently needed.