Effects of parity on blood pressure among West African Dogon women

Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, Deborah A. Sampson, Cindy M. Anderson, Dennis Caldwell, Andre D. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study examined the effect of parity on blood pressure (BP) readings and BMI among rural West African Dogon women. Design: Correlational research design. Setting: Sangha, West Africa Participants: 133 West African Dogon Women Methods: Demographic survey including age, number of children, history of hypertension, and village affiliation. BP readings were taken in accordance with JNC-7 guidelines. BMI was calculated from height and weight. Results: Women with BP readings diagnostic of hypertension were typically older (M = 55.72 years) than those who were normotensive (M = 42.40). However, BMI, on average, was within normal range for both groups (22.81 and 22.15, respectively). A statistically significant difference was found between number of children and systolic BP (SBP), P = .015, with those having 5 or more children with higher SBP than those with one to three children. A statistically significant difference, P = .001, was found between hypertension and normotensive diagnostic groups. Conclusions: This study shows that increased parity of five or more children may contribute to West African Dogon women's risk factors for hypertension in terms of increased SBP. Because BMI was within normal range for both groups of women, it was not shown to be an independent risk factor for hypertension in this sample. Further studies, with larger samples followed throughout their childbearing years (before, during, and after each pregnancy), are needed before more definitive conclusions can be made regarding the effects of parity on BMI and BP among rural West African Dogon women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-366
Number of pages7
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Dogon
  • Hypertension
  • Parity
  • Rural
  • West African
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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