Title: Prevalence and Predictors of Overweight, Obesity and Hypertension among Undergraduates of a Southern Nigerian University
Authors: Ojule Inumanye Nkechi, Odoeme N. J
Objectives: This study aimed to determine the prevalence and predictors of overweight, obesity and hypertension among undergraduates of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt.
Materials and Method: A cross sectional study was conducted among 304 undergraduates who were sampled using a multi-stage sampling technique. A self-administered questionnaire was structured using the WHO STEPS Instrument. The data was analyzed for magnitude of correlation using Spearman’s rho (rs) and Chi-square tests using 1BM
Results: Among the 304 undergraduates, 179 (58.9%) were females while 125(41.1%) were males, this difference in proportion was statistically significant (X2 =6.066, P =0.0140).The mean age of the participants was 24±3.45. The prevalence of hypertension was 14(4.6%) and 135(44.4%) were found to have pre-hypertension. Isolated Systolic Hypertension was identified in 3.6% of the participants.
Prevalence of Overweight & Obesity was 50(16.4%) and 14(4.3%) respectively. A significant association exist between BP and gender of participants (χ2 =31.345, p<0.001), BMI and gender (χ2 =16.688, p=0.001). Also a strong positive correlation between BP and alcohol consumption (ᴦs=0.106, p=0.006) and between BP and high salt intake (ᴦs=0.188, p=0.001) were detected. Alcohol consumption and high salt intake was identified in 176(57.9%) and 94(30.9%) of the participants respectively.
Conclusions: A high prevalence of elevated Blood Pressure and overweight was observed among the participants. Alcohol intake, high salt intake and being a female gender were predictors of rising blood pressure and overweight. An interventional program is needed to control these risk factors in this young population.
Keywords: Hypertension, Risk factors, Undergraduates, Obesity.