Health Why doctors are worried about Nairobi prostitutes

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Doctors are worried about the health of Nairobi prostitutes

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A new study has revealed that obesity among older HIV positive prostitutes in Nairobi is being linked to development of high blood pressure.

This is due to the fact that patients on HIV drugs are living longer and getting exposed to age-related health complications such as heart conditions.

Prostitutes on substance abuse, however, have a higher rate of heart conditions.

A third of 3197 prostitutes were found to be obese and with worrying rates of hypertension during the Sex Workers Outreach Programme clinics in Nairobi where the study was conducted.

Over 200 of the study participants were found to be hypertensive with men more likely to have high blood pressure as compared to women.

Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), one of the measurements used to determine if one is overweight, was also used to check for risk of hypertension.

Older and menopausal women were found to be more likely to have a high waist to hip ratio as compared to men. According to the study, this makes them more prone to obesity and being overweight.

All the 3,197 study participants were HIV positive with about 98 per cent on ARVs.

Participants were aged between 18 and 74 with majority falling under the 30-49 age bracket.

266 females and 201 males were aged over 50 years.

338 females and 35 males were aged below 30.

Males were found to be earning on average Ksh 10,000 while women earning Ksh 7,000.

A majority of the participants had only primary school education, were married, most were Christians with only 13 Muslims.

The study was led by Moses Masika of the University of Nairobi and overseen by the Clinical director at SWOP, Joshua Kimani.

The objective of the study was to investigate the prevalence of hypertension and obesity among HIV patients attending SWOP as well as hypertension or high blood pressure which if not treated can lead to heart disease.

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