Social and community factors associated with hypertension awareness and control among older adults in Tirana, Albania

Catherine M. Pirkle*, Alban Ylli, Genc Burazeri, Tetine L. Sentell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Determinants of hypertension diagnosis and/or awareness and control among older adults are understudied in Albania, a former communist country in South Eastern Europe, which is experiencing rapid demographic, socioeconomic and epidemiological transition. This paper examines the association of individual, interpersonal, organizational and community factors with hypertension awareness and control among older adults in Tirana, the Albanian capital. Methods: Using 2012 International Mobility in Aging Study data on older adults from Albania's capital city (n = 393) and the socioecological model as a conceptual framework, multinomial regression models identified factors associated with controlled, uncontrolled and undiagnosed hypertension. Results: For hypertension, 17.3% participants had none, 23.4% were controlled, 48.4% were uncontrolled and 10.9% were undiagnosed/unaware. Compared to those with controlled hypertension, in multivariable models, a high level of friend support was negatively associated with uncontrolled (OR: 0.4; 95% CI: 0.2-0.9) and undiagnosed (OR: 0.2; 95% CI: 0.1-0.6) hypertension. A high level of perceived neighbourhood safety was negatively associated with uncontrolled (OR: 0.6; 95% CI: 0.3-1.0) and undiagnosed (OR: 0.4; 95% CI: 0.2-1.0) hypertension. Compared to those with no hypertension, children's social support was positively associated with uncontrolled (OR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.1-4.3) and undiagnosed (OR: 3.6; 95% CI: 1.3-9.6) hypertension. Conclusion: This study provides new insights about distinct risk factors for inadequate hypertension management in Albania. It highlights the importance of community-level factors (safety) and interpersonal factors (family and friend ties) to hypertension diagnosis/awareness and control, which may provide novel intervention opportunities for hypertension programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1168
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018



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