This study showed that the prevalence of hypertension among adults was 12.5%, which was in line with a study conducted in Kenya, Nairobi (13%), southern Ethiopia (13.2%) . But it was lower than the study done in Gondar (28.3%), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (30%), Jimma, Ethiopia (21.3%), Bahirdar, Ethiopia (25%), Uganda (26.4%), Zambia (32.3%) and Kenya (22.8%) [9, 11, 13,14,15,16]. This variation might be due to the difference in the study area, study population and socio demographic status of the study participants.
The odds of developing hypertension among females were four times more likely than when compared with those who were males. This might be due to females are more prone to accumulation of fat tissue than males because females have fat mass than lean mass [17, 18]. This was different from the study conducted in Northwest Ethiopia and southern Ethiopia, which males were a higher at risk than females.
The odds of having hypertension among who consumed animal fat source foods was six times more likely than who did not consume animal source fat. This was due to the fact that those foods which contain animal fat source foods have saturated fats, which leads excess accumulation of fat in the blood vessels, and it leads to atherosclerosis. Additionally, saturated fat obtained commonly found from animals, is the risk of cardiovascular disorders .
The odds of having hypertension among older age (age greater than 50) were three times more likely to be hypertensive. This study was in line with the study conducted at North West Ethiopia and Addis Ababa [11, 18, 20, 21]. This might be due to relatively older age could be probably affected by non-communicable diseases including hypertension.
The odds of developing hypertension among those who consumed excessive salt was six times more likely when compared to counterparts. This was in line with the study conducted in southern Ethiopia and northwest Ethiopia [11, 18]. This is due to the fact that, salt increases the risk of hypertension and fluid retention .
The odds of developing hypertension among those who had a family history of hypertension were five times more likely when compared with counterparts. This was supported by the study conducted in different parts of Ethiopia [8, 9, 18]. Additionally, the odds of developing hypertension among those who were overweight was almost five times more risk than counterparts. This finding was in line with the studies conducted in Southern Ethiopia [8, 18, 23, 24]. This occurs due to the fact that as BMI levels increases the risk of chronic diseases increases. Increased level of BMI indicates the accumulation of fat tissue.
The odds of developing hypertension among those who drank alcohol was three times prone to hypertension than their counterparts. This finding was supported by other research findings alcohol consumption is a risk factor for hypertension [20, 25, 26]. This might be due to alcohol consumption is associated with cardiovascular diseases including hypertension.
This study revealed that hypertension is the public problem in Debre Markos town. Hypertension was significantly associated with sex, consumption of animal source fat, excess salt utilization, family history of hypertension, age, alcohol consumption, and overweight. Therefore, health care managers and health care providers should focus on the above modifiable risk factors to reduce the prevalence of hypertension.