• 1 School of Medical Sciences, Health Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia
  • 2 Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
PLoS ONE, 2019;14(1):e0207472.
PMID: 30605462 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207472


High blood pressure is a worldwide problem and major global health burden. Whether alone or combined with other metabolic diseases, high blood pressure increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. This study is a secondary data analysis from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015, a population-based study that was conducted nationwide in Malaysia using a multi-stage stratified cluster sampling design. A total of 15,738 adults ≥18-years-old were recruited into the study, which reports the prevalence of hypertension stages among adults in Malaysia using the JNC7 criteria and determinants of its severity. The overall prevalence of raised blood pressure was 66.8%, with 45.8% having prehypertension, 15.1% having Stage 1 hypertension, and 5.9% having Stage 2 hypertension. In the multivariate analysis, a higher likelihood of having prehypertension was observed among respondents with advancing age, males (OR = 2.74, 95% CI: 2.41-3.12), Malay ethnicity (OR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.02-1.44), lower socioeconomic status, and excessive weight. The factors associated with clinical hypertension (Stages 1 and 2) were older age, rural residency (Stage 1 OR = 1.22, Stage 2 OR = 1.28), Malay ethnicity (Stage 2 OR = 1.64), diabetes (Stage 2 OR = 1.47), hypercholesterolemia (Stage 1 OR = 1.34, Stage 2 OR = 1.82), being overweight (Stage 1 OR = 2.86, Stage 2 OR = 3.44), obesity (Stage 1 OR = 9.01, Stage 2 OR = 13.72), and lower socioeconomic status. Almost 70% of Malaysian adults are at a risk of elevated blood pressure. The highest prevalence was in the prehypertension group, which clearly predicts a future incurable burden of the disease. Public health awareness, campaigns through mass and social media, and intervention in the work place should be a priority to control this epidemic.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.