Child marriage is associated with various adverse socio-economic and pregnancy outcomes. However, there remains a dearth of research on the long-term health implications of child marriage. As such, this study sought to expand upon the growing literature on child marriage, specifically examining the associations between child marriage and hypertension during young adult age.
We obtained data of 5369 women aged 20–34 from the Tajikistan Demographic and Health Survey 2017. Using multivariable logistic regression framework, we estimated the adjusted odds in favor of being hypertensive for women who were married before the age of 18. We also explored the presence of several stressors to understand the role of probable medication factors.
We found that the odds of being hypertensive for young adult women married before the age of 18 were 1.6 (95% confidence interval: 1.1–2.4) times that of those who were not. Likelihood of having stressors, such as pregnancy loss or child death, marital control and spousal violence, was found higher among child brides compared to their peers.
Findings suggest that child marriage may increase the risk of hypertension among young adult women. This work reinforces recommendations by the United Nations to the end child marriage.