Teshome Gensa Geta,1 Gashaw Garedew Woldeamanuel,1 Bereket Zeleke Hailemariam,1 Diribsa Tsegaye Bedada2
1Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wolkite University, Wolkite, Ethiopia; 2Department of Statistics, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Wolkite University, Wolkite, Ethiopia
Correspondence: Teshome Gensa Geta
Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wolkite University, P.O. Box 07, Wolkite, Ethiopia
Tel +251 910686501
Purpose: The leaves of the Khat plant contain amphetamine-like compounds which are implicated in the development of hypertension. The increase in blood pressure coincides with the plasma cathinone level. Other factors associated with hypertension are being overweight, obesity, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and stress. Thus, this study assessed the association of chronic khat chewing with hypertension and other factors associated with hypertension.
Patients and Methods: Acommunity based comparative cross-sectional study was undertaken from October 5, 2018 to February 15, 2019 in Gurage zone, southern Ethiopia. A total of 1200 adults (600 chewers and 600 non-chewers) aged 18 − 65 years were selected using a convenience sampling method. The data was collected by an interviewer-administered questionnaire plus physical measurements and were carried out at a fixed time of the day in the morning (7: 00 am–10:00 am). Linear regression and binary logistic regression analysis were performed to identify the determinant factors of blood pressure. The test of statistically significant association was declared by using 95% CI and p-value less than 0.05.
Results: A total of 1198 adults participated in the study giving a response rate of 99.8%. The mean age of Khat chewers were 34 (± 11.27) and non-chewers were 34.73 (± 11.48) years. The mean values of systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were higher in chewers than in non-chewers (p < 0.001). The prevalence of diastolic blood pressure > 80mmHg was significantly higher among Khat chewers than in non-chewers (17.4% versus 8.7%, p < 0.001). The duration of Khat chewing was significantly associated with systolic blood pressure (Beta coefficient = 0.83, p < 0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (Beta coefficient = 0.51, p < 0.001). The sex, age, BMI and alcohol were significantly associated with both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Conclusion: Chronic Khat chewing, male sex, BMI and alcohol were associated with increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure. To assess the cause and effect relationship between chronic Khat chewing and hypertension further studies with better defined cohorts and basic science studies need to be undertaken.
Keywords: chronic khat chewing, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure
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