Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Additional Departmental Affiliation

Public Health

Document Type



Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease worldwide. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a widespread chronic non-communicable disease (NCD) which is on the rise in developing countries. Evidence based on extensive research studies on risk factors for NCDs suggests that they could be easily significantly decreased by simply controlling their risk factors. Although high blood pressure has been recognized as a leading risk factor for CVD, little research has been done to document the prevalence and incidence of essential hypertension (EH) in lower socioeconomic developing countries. One such country is Kenya. It was found in our research study that Kasigau has an extremely high prevalence of EH. Sixty seven percent of the population had stage 1 or stage 2 hypertension. No known risk factors showed a significant correlation with systolic blood pressure, and therefore it was determined that the high prevalence of EH in Kasigau could be contributed to ulterior causation; possibly a genetic mutation that causes salt hypersensitivity.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Nancy Rice


Biology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Community Health | Genetic Phenomena | International Public Health