Identifying individuals with multiple non-communicable disease risk factors in Kenya: a latent class analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of death globally. In Kenya, the number of deaths resulting from NCDs is projected to surpass malaria and tuberculosis by 2030. Studies in Kenya show increasing NCDs; the aim of the present study is to examine the clustering of NCDs and risk factors in Kenya. STUDY DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional study using data from the 2015 Kenya STEPwise Survey. METHODS: This study examined relationships between NCDs (e.g. obesity, hypertension and diabetes) and health behaviours (e.g. sedentary activity, and fruit and vegetable consumption). Survey probability weights, which estimated the sampling design effect, were applied to consider the sampling units, and stratifications were used during sampling so that the results could be generalisable to the national adult Kenyan population. In total, 4350 adults were included in the study sample. RESULTS: Overall, 24.43% of participants were classified as having hypertension, 1.88% as having type 2 diabetes, and 27.94% were classified as being overweight or obese. The best-fit model was a four-class solution. Class 1 is best described as 'young with high NCD risk' and had the highest sedentary activity. Class 2 is best described as 'poor rural with lower NCD risk' with a high chance of smoking and alcohol consumption. Class 3 is best described as 'rural with high NCD risk' and had the highest fruit and vegetable consumption. Class 4 is best described as 'wealthy young urban dwellers with high NCD risk' with a high chance of alcohol consumption and smoking. Individuals in Class 4 had the highest chance (40%) of being overweight/obese, a 2% chance of type 2 diabetes and a 23% chance of having hypertension. CONCLUSIONS: NCDs are clustered in groups with high-risk behaviours. The group with the highest chance of having NCDs also had the highest chance of engaging in high-risk behaviours. The findings of this study suggest that smoking and alcohol consumption increase NCD risk in rural areas. Tailored and targeted interventions are needed to curb the increasing NCD prevalence in Kenya.

published proceedings

  • Public Health

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Mkuu, R. S., Gilreath, T. D., Barry, A. E., Nafukho, F. M., Rahman, J., Chowdhury, M., Wekullo, C., & Harvey, I. S.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Mkuu, RS||Gilreath, TD||Barry, AE||Nafukho, FM||Rahman, J||Chowdhury, MAB||Wekullo, C||Harvey, IS

publication date

  • January 2021