Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) measurements were taken at the mobile examination centres by trained medical personnel using a standard protocol [15, 21]. Three consecutive BP readings were taken by the auscultatory method (after respondents are rested in a sitting position for 5 min) using a mercury sphygmomanometer and suitable cuff dimension based on upper arm circumference measurement. Where BP readings were interrupted a fourth reading was taken. All available BP readings were used to determine the mean systolic-BP (SBP) and diastolic-BP (DBP) for each respondent [22]. Hypertension was defined as mean SBP ≥ 140 mmHg or DBP ≥ 90 mmHg or/and use of anti-hypertensive or blood pressure-lowering drugs according to the American Heart Association guidelines [23]. To discern awareness of hypertension, respondents were asked if they have been told by a doctor or medical personnel that they had hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure [22].

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