Background: Hypertensive Disorder of Pregnancy (HDP) is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity amongst pregnant women in the world. Blood pressure check-ups during pregnancy constitute one of the strategies used to identify hypertensive disorders, hence timely management. Little is known about the factors associated with blood pressure check-ups in Tanzania.
Method: The study used data from 2015 - 16 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicators Survey (2015 - 16 TDHS - MIS). A total of 6924 women of active reproductive age from 15 to 49 were included in the analysis. Both univariate and multiple regression analyses were used to determine the association between early antenatal booking and maternal services utilization.
Results: A total of 4997(72.17%) interviewed women were checked for blood pressure at least once. Having been adjusted for the confounders, the factors which influenced an uptake of blood pressure check-ups during pregnancy were timed for antenatal booking within first 12 weeks, AOR=1.496 at 95% CI= 1.297-1.726, p<0.001, age group [more than 34 years, (AOR=1.518 at 95% CI=1.149-2.006, p=0.003)], wealth index [middle income, (AOR=1.215 at 95% CI=1.053-1.468, p=0.008) and rich, (AOR=2.270 at 95% CI=1.907-2.702, p<0.001)] reference population being poor; education level [primary education, (AOR=1.275 at 95% CI=1.107-1.468, p=0.001); secondary education, (AOR=2.163 at 95% CI=1.688-2.774, p<0.001) and higher education, (AOR=9.929 at 95%CI=1.355-72.76, p=0.024)] reference population being no formal education; parity [para 2-4, (AOR=1.190 at 95% CI=1.003-1.412, p=0.046) and zones [Unguja Island, (AOR=3.934 at 95% CI=1.568-9.871, p=0.004), Pemba Island, (AOR=5.308 at 95%CI=1.808-15.58, p=0.002)] and Mainland Urban being the reference population.
Conclusion: Blood pressure check-ups during pregnancy offer the opportunity for early detection, hence timely management of HDP. The study revealed that rural dwelling pregnant women had higher chance of not getting their BP checked. It was also revealed that maternal age, education level, place of residence, wealth index and timing of ANC services were significantly associated with blood pressure check-ups. The study recommends the need to explore significant factors associated with utilization of available free reproductive health services across all public health facilities. It also recommends the need to address prioritized intensive awareness programs and behavioral change interventions on the significance of BP check-ups among pregnant women of reproductive age.