Aim: To demonstrate the effect of physical activity on controlling blood pressure among hypertensive patients from Mishref area of Kuwait.
Method: A sample of 240 Kuwaiti patients diagnosed with hypertension for more than one year were randomly selected from those hypertensive patients who visited the primary care center for their regular follow up. Patients were labeled as uncontrolled hypertensives if their systolic blood pressure (SBP) was ≥140 mmHg and /or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was ≥90 mmHg. A structured questionnaire with questions on sociodemographic characteristics, diet and physical activity was administered.
Result: The prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension among our sample was 44.4%. More than half of patients who reported not practicing physical activity had uncontrolled hypertension compared to a quarter of those who were practicing it. The multiple logistic regression analysis showed that age, Body Mass Index (BMI), diet, and physical activity were the independent significant risk factors on controlling hypertension among our study population. The risk of uncontrolled hypertension is 3.88 times among younger age group, 4.97 times among older age group, 2.50 times among patients with their BMI ≥30 kg/m2, 7.79 times among patients who are not on diet, 8.34 times among patients who exercise less than 3 days per week, 5.71 times among less active during leisure time, and 3.52 times among less active during work.
Conclusion: The increased risk of physical inactivity in controlling hypertension in our study suggests that general practitioners must be in the habit of prescribing practice of physical exercise and patients are followed up regularly to confirm that they are adhering to the management plan and the blood pressure targets are being met.