Objective: To determine the prevalence of some risk factors of coronary heart disease (CHD) in a rural Nigerian population.
Design: Prospective cross-sectional study.
Setting: Three villages around Maiduguri in the north eastern part of Nigeria.
Subjects: Five hundred randomly selected subjects, consisting of 278 males and 222 females.
Intervention: Anthropometric parameters such as weight, height, body mass index and blood pressure were measured. Also fasting blood concentration of glucose, total cholesterol (Tc) and high density cholesterol (HDL-c) were measured.
Main outcome measures: The various parameters were compared between males and females.
Results: Prevalence of hypercholesterolaemia was zero because no subjects had values greater than 5.2 mmol/1. Overall prevalence of obesity was 2%, with 1.2% in males and 3.2% in females. High blood pressure was observed in 15.2% of the subjects, with it being more among males (19.1%) than females (10.3%). Mean fasting blood glucose was significantly higher (p < 0.01) in females (6.2 mmol/1) than males (4.2 mmol/1). Prevalence of diabetes mellitus was 2.6% and being higher among females.
Conclusion: Our results demonstrated lower prevalence of obesity and hypertension when compared with earlier results from the southern part of Nigeria, but showed an increase in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus. We therefore recommend that a survey of CHD risk factors should be carried out in different ethnic groups.