Association between Health and Wealth among Kenyan Adults with Hypertension

  •  Daniel R. Hanna    
  •  Jennifer A. Campbell    
  •  Rebekah J. Walker    
  •  Aprill Z. Dawson    
  •  Leonard E. Egede    


BACKGROUND: This paper examines the relationship between hypertension and wealth in a national sample of Kenyan adults.

METHODS: Data from 27,552 individuals from the Demographic and Health Survey Program (DHS) for Kenya were analyzed. Wealth index, a cumulative measure of household standard of living, was the outcome. The final analysis was stratified by gender with covariates added in blocks (demographics, economic, and cultural) to investigate the independent association of hypertension with wealth index.

RESULTS: Approximately 7.6% of those with hypertension had a wealth index above the median. For women and men, hypertension was significantly associated with higher wealth index (women ß=0.26; CI=0.19; 0.34; men ß=0.36; CI=0.19; 0.53). After adjusting for age, rural location, children, employment, education, ethnicity, and religion, hypertension maintained statistical significance with wealth index for both women and men (women ß=0.06; CI=0.01; 0.11; men ß=0.20; CI=0.08; 0.31).

CONCLUSIONS: As Kenya as a nation undergoes health care reform while also experiencing a high burden of hypertension, the results presented here provide preliminary evidence that may be used in support for decision makers for the wealth effects of health interventions. Additional work is needed to understand the longitudinal relationship between hypertension and wealth at the national level. 

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