Pre-Hypertension And Hypertension In Apparently Healthy Adolescents In Calabar, Nigeria.

  • F Odey
  • M Anah
  • V Ansa
  • J Ogbeche
  • M Meremikwu
  • E Ekanem


Hypertension is a major public health burden in sub-Saharan Africa. It has been shown to track from adolescence to adulthood. Pre-hypertension refers to consistent systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure (BP) measurement between 90 - < 95th percentile, while hypertension is when systolic and/or diastolic BP ≥ 95th percentile for age and sex. Prehypertension is considered heightened risk for developing hypertension. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of hypertension and pre-hypertension among urban adolescents in Calabar, south eastern Nigeria. This was a cross sectional survey using multistage sampling techniques among adolescents between the ages of 10 – 18 years in four secondary schools in Calabar metropolis. Blood pressures and anthropometric measurements were taken and body mass index was calculated. Three hundred and seventy five subjects were assessed, 146 males and 229 females. The prevalence of hypertension was 6.7%, pre-hypertension was 7.5% and that of obesity was 1.9%. The mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) for males was 114.00 ± 13.04mmHg while that for females was 115.18 ± 12.18mmHg. Only the SBP were found to increase significantly with age (p<0.001), though both showed progressive increase with age. The mean diastolic blood pressure (DBP) for males was 62.55 ± 8.10mmHg and 63.16 ± 9.36mmHg for females. The mean BMI was 18.52 ± 2.35 for males and 19.16 ± 3.60 for females and increase with age was statistically significant (p<0.001). The prevalence of both hypertension and pre-hypertension in this adolescent population appears high and necessitates public health attention. It is recommended that larger studies in different Nigerian adolescent populations be conducted to determine the prevalence of hypertension nationwide so that early remedial actions may be taken. KEY WORDS: Hypertension, Pre-hypertension, healthy adolescents.

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eISSN: 1597-9857
print ISSN: 1597-9857