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Relationship of blood pressure status, dietary factors and serum electrolytes of in-school adolescents in Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria

Olutayo S Shokunbi
Ngozi A Ukangwa


Background: Globally, rising blood pressure is of public health concern as it is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), and preventable death. This study accessed the relationship of blood pressure status, dietary factors and serum electrolytes among in-school adolescents in Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 488 secondary school students (aged 10–19 years). Blood pressures were assessed using auscultatory method and questionnaires were used to obtain food frequency and 24-hour dietary recall data. Blood samples from volunteers were used for serum sodium and potassium assays.

Results: The mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) increased with age, irrespective of gender. The prevalence of elevated blood pressure and hypertension among participants were 19.3% and 10.5%, respectively, with males and females having similar pattern. Dietary factors like addition of table salt to already prepared foods, higher intake of eggs, and lower intake of vegetables were associated with the development of elevated blood pressure among the adolescents. The estimated mean dietary intakes (mg/person/day) of sodium and potassium were 2289±938.7 and 1321±603.8, respectively, with majority
consuming far higher (for sodium – 80%) or far below (for potassium – 95%) recommendations. The mean serum sodium (138.0±18.3 mmolL-1) and potassium (3.06±1.1 mmolL-1) were similar across genders. A significant (p<0.05) negative relationship exists between serum potassium and SBP.

Conclusions: The blood pressure status of the adolescents studied are of great concern and are somewhat negatively influenced by poor dietary and lifestyle practices. They require prompt intervention to slow down the development of CVDs in the future.

Keywords: Adolescents; dietary patterns; hypertension; table salt.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905