Background: Obesity is a global health problem that is linked directly with several disease processes, notably hypertension. Aims: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of overweight/obesity and to examine its relationship with hypertension in an urban community in a developing country. Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of participants aged ≥18 in Lagos, an urban community in southwest Nigeria, on every World Kidney Day from 2006 to 2010. Data on age, gender, body mass index, blood pressure and urinalysis were obtained. Results: 1368 participants were studied comprising of 720 (52.6%) males, mean age overall was 41.9± 12.9 years. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 32.7% and 22.2% respectively. Obesity was highest among those in the 45-54years age group and also higher in women compared with men with prevalence rate of 29.5 % in women versus 15.7% in men; X2 = 37.45, p < 0.0001. Hypertension was present among 33.3% (456) of the population and highest among those > 65years (58%). Obese subjects had 2.59 increased odds of developing hypertension (95% CI: 1.89 - 3.56). Forty-nine (3.6%) subjects had proteinuria; 4.9% obese subjects versus 2.4% of non-obese subjects had proteinuria; X2 = 3.87 p = 0.049. Conclusion: This study indicates that hypertension and obesity are highly prevalent in Lagos. Obesity is a strong independent risk factor for hypertension. Therefore concerted efforts should be made to control this unwholesome trend by promoting health education with emphasis on associated risk factors for obesity such as eating habits and weight gain.
Keywords: Obesity, overweight, excess weight, hypertension