Modifiable cardiovascular risk factors among apparently healthy adult Nigerian population - a cross sectional study

BMC Res Notes. 2010 Jan 20:3:11. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-3-11.


Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a major cause of morbidity and a leading contributor to mortality worldwide. Over the next 2 decades, it is projected that there will be a rise in CVD mortality rates in the developing countries, linked to demographic changes and progressive urbanization. Nigeria has witnessed tremendous socio-economic changes and rural-urban migration which have led to the emergence of non-communicable diseases. We set out to determine the prevalence of modifiable CVD risk factors among apparently healthy adult Nigerians. This is a descriptive cross-sectional study carried out at Katsina, northwestern Nigeria from March to May 2006. Subjects for the study were recruited consecutively from local residents, hospital staff and relations of in-patients of the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina using convenience sampling. Socio-demographic information, anthropometric measurements and blood pressure were obtained from the subjects in a standardized manner. Venous samples were collected for necessary investigations and analyzed at the hospital central laboratory.

Findings: Three hundred subjects (129 males and 171 females) with a mean age of 37.6 +/- 10.6 (range 18-75) years were studied. Prevalence of the modifiable cardiovascular risk factors screened for were as follows: generalized obesity 21.3% (males 10.9%, females 29.2%, p < 0.05), truncal obesity 43.7% (males 12.4%, females 67.3%, p < 0.05), hypertension 25.7% (males 27.9, females 24%, p > 0.05), type 2 diabetes mellitus 5.3% (males 5.4%, females 5.3%, p > 0.05), hypercholesterolaemia 28.3% (males 23.3%, females 32.2%, p < 0.05), elevated LDL-cholesterol 25.7% (males 28%, females 24%, p > 0.05), low HDL-cholesterol 59.3% (males 51.9%, females 65%, p < 0.05), hypertriglyceridaemia 15% (males 16.3%, females 14%, p > 0.05) and metabolic syndrome 22% (males 10.9%, females 30.4%, p < 0.05).

Conclusions: We found high prevalence of CVD risk factors among apparently healthy adult Nigerians. In order to reduce this high prevalence and prevent subsequent cardiovascular events, encouragement of a healthy lifestyle is suggested.