The prevalence of hypertension is highest amongst people of African descent living in the industrialised countries and in sub-Saharan Africa, and it is the most important factor leading to stroke and chronic renal disease in those countries. Hypertension is becoming a public health priority even in sub-Saharan Africa where detection and appropriate management of hypertension are still not widely available. Salt intake is an important determinant of population blood pressure. In addition, salt intake is a modifiable environmental factor and it is possible by nutritional education to reduce population blood pressure. People of African descent are particularly sensitive to the blood pressure-lowering effects of dietary salt reduction. Populations in sub-Saharan Africa are particularly suited for such an intervention because the majority of the dietary salt is purchased as common salt and added to the food during cooking or at table.
The project aims at reducing dietary salt intake by means of health education and promotion in a population in West Africa. It also aims at reducing, as a consequence, the average level of blood pressure in such a population.
The project is a community-based cluster randomised trial of dietary salt reduction by education and health promotion involving twelve communities in the Ejisu-Juabeng (rural) and Kumasi (semi-Urban) Districts of the Ashanti Region of Ghana. It involves the recruitment of participants into one of two arms of the study (‘control’ and ‘intervention’ clusters). The intervention cluster of villages will be exposed to a vigorous campaign of nutritional education to reduce salt intake. There will be re-enforcement of the educational activities throughout the six months’ period of the intervention.
This award is presented annually to an ISHIB member who has demonstrated exceptional work reducing health disparities in ethnic minority populations.
ISHIB2003 Awards Winner
Francesco P Cappuccio, MD, MSc
St George's Hospital Medical School
- F P Cappuccio (WMS)
- J B Eastwood (SGUL)
- S M Kerry (SGUL)
- J Plange-Rhule (KATH, Kumasi, Ghana)
- M A Miller (WMS)
- F B Micah (KATH, Kumasi, Ghana)
- S Antwi (KATH, Kumasi, Ghana)
- R O Phillips (KATH, Kumasi, Ghana)
- R Martin-Prepah (KATH, Kumasi, Ghana)
- The Association of Physicians of Great Britain & Ireland
- The Wellcome Trust