Work history and diagnosed hypertension among older adults in Ghana: Evidence from WHO SAGE Wave2

  • Evans Otieku Aarhus University and University of Ghana
  • Marzieh Katibeh Aarhus University
  • Dziedzom Awalime Ghana Health Service
  • Razak Mohammed Gyasi African Population and Health Research Center


Introduction: There is limited knowledge in the context of Africa on how work history associates with hypertension at old age. Therefore, this paper analyses such an association using Ghana as a case study.Methods: Data from the World Health Organisation Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health Wave 2 was used to explore four intriguing hypotheses. A multifactor logit regression analysis was performed. The paper also estimated diagnosed hypertension prevalence across subgroups.Results: The mean age of the total of 3564 participants examined was 64 ±10years. The overall prevalence of hypertension was 10.3% [95% CI = 9.4 – 11.1]. The highest predicted rate was 41.1% [95% CI = 38.0 – 49.2] among those who stopped working before the statutory retirement age 60 years, whereas it was only 4% [95% CI = 3.7 – 5.2] for those who retired from active work at age 60 years. Those who retired at age <60years recorded the highest risk of hypertension diagnosis [OR = 14.1; CI=10.5-19.5]. There was also a significant association between diagnosed hypertension and a history of working <5 days per week [OR=1.6; CI=1.1-2.3]. It emerged that those with a history of informal sector employment were at significant risk of hypertension at old age, if they worked <5days per week [OR=1.5; CI=1.0-2.3].Conclusion: The paper adds to the knowledge of multifactorial risks of hypertension. It provides some evidence and suggests ways in which people can avoid the risk of hypertension at old age during their economically active years. 

Author Biographies

Evans Otieku, Aarhus University and University of Ghana
Department of Public Health, Researcher
Marzieh Katibeh, Aarhus University
Center for Global Health, Ph.D. Fellow
Dziedzom Awalime, Ghana Health Service
Epidemiology Unit, Researcher
Razak Mohammed Gyasi, African Population and Health Research Center
Aging and Development Unit, Post Doctoral Fellow


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