Background: In Nigeria, reports on the prevalence of modifiable cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are scarce. In addition, socio-economic status (SES), an important component of the socioeconomic gradient in CVD and its risk factors has not been clearly elucidated. This study sought to assess the prevalence of CVD risk factors and how the difference in prevalence and accessibility to CVD risk screening across income levels and educational backgrounds contributes to disease diagnosis in rural and urban Nigerian adults.
Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out on a sociocultural ethnic group of persons living in rural and urban settings. All participants were aged ≥ 18 years. The WHO STEPS questionnaire was used to document the demographics, history of previous medical check-up or screening, anthropometric and biochemical measurements of the participants. Average income level and educational status were indicators used to assess the impact of SES. Multivariate analyses were performed to assess any difference between the geographical locations and SES indicators, and prevalence of CVD risk factors and access to CVD risk screening.
Results: The 422 participants (273 females and 149 males) [corrected] had mean age (± standard deviation) of 38.3 ± 20.5 and 42.9 ± 20.7 years, respectively. Only total cholesterol (p = 0.001), triglyceride (p = 0.005), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) (p < 0.0001), body mass index (BMI) (p = 0.03) and average income rate (p = 0.01) showed significant difference between gender groups. Overall prevalence of prediabetes (4.9%), diabetes (5.4%), hypertension (35.7%), low HDL (17.8%), hypertriglyceridemia (23.2%), hypercholesterolemia (38.1%) and central obesity of 52.2% was recorded. Except between total cholesterol (p = 0.042) and HDL (p = 0.017), other CVD risk factors did not show a statistical significance across income levels. Participants with 'university and postgraduate education' had higher access to blood pressure and blood glucose screening compared to other educational groups; and this showed a statistical significance.
Conclusion: This study has shown that a significant number of modifiable CVD risk factors exist in the rural and urban migrants of an adult Nigerian population. While income level did not affect the CVD risk factor prevalence, it did affect accessibility to CVD risk screening. There is a need for access to diagnosis of modifiable risk factors at all levels of society.