The Magnitude of Obesity and its Relationship to Blood Pressure Among the Residents of Enugu Metropolis in South East Nigeria
Background: Obesity in developing nations is no longer as uncommon as it was thought to be decades ago however paucity of data on the burden of obesity from urban communities was observed by previous workers. Aim: To determine the magnitude of obesity and its relationship to blood pressure among urban adult residents in Enugu metropolis. Subjects and Methods: A cross‑sectional community survey of adults who were not known to have diabetes or hypertension by self‑report was carried out. Four parts of the metropolis selected by simple random sampling were used and consenting individuals aged 18-70 years were consecutively recruited. Anthropometric measurements were done using standard procedures as specified in the World Health Organization STEPs instrument. Obesity was determined using widely acknowledged body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses was performed using SPSS with P value set at < 0.05. Results: A high prevalence of obesity of 21.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 18.3-24.1) was found among the participants with significant female gender preponderance. The burden increased with age with the middle age group highly involved. Attainment of age of 40 years and above had an increased odd of developing obesity (odds ratio = 1.8; 95 % CI: 1.3-2.6). There was a relationship between blood pressure and BMI as shown by positive correlation, higher BMI among hypertensive subjects and high burden of elevated blood pressure among obese subjects (91/164; 55.5%). Conclusion: A high magnitude of obesity existed among this apparently healthy unaware adults resident in an urban Nigerian city and obesity is associated with elevation in blood pressure.
Keywords: Blood pressure, Nigeria, Obesity, Urban residents