Cardiopulmonary functions of school children in oil-spilled and gas-flared Niger-Delta and rural-Riverine Lagos Communities
Cardiopulmonary functions can be influenced by chemicals from flared toxic gases and oil spillages. This study determined and compared the cardiopulmonary functions of six hundred apparently healthy primary school children (338 male and 262 female) aged 6 to 9years recruited from two communities. Three hundred of them were dwellers of Kegbara-Dere (an oil-spilled and gas-flared community) in Rivers State while the other 300 were recruited from Makoko (a rural-riverine community) in Lagos State. Their parents/guardian gave informed consent before their basic anthropometric parameters were obtained. Their cardiovascular and pulmonary parameters were also measured. Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 21.0. The mean values of the systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), Heart Rate (HR) and Rate Pressure Product (RPP) for the oil-spilled/gas-flared Niger-Delta and the rural-riverine Lagos Communities were 112.99±9.99mmHg and 111.12±9.27mmHg, 73.63±8.41mmHg and 74.05±6.85mmHg, 98.41±14.33bpm and 95.56±12.07bpm and 11187.45 ± 2247.98mmHg.bpm and 10655.00±1832.86mmHg.bpm respectively. The mean values of the Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1), Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) and Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) were 1.02±0.26L and 1.25±0.23L, 1.10±0.26L and 1.34±0.25L and 1.58±0.49L/s and 2.24±0.61L/s. Independent t-test analysis showed statistically significant differences between the mean values of the SBP (p=0.017), HR (p=0.009), RPP (p=0.002), FEV1 (p=0.001), FVC (p=0.001) and PEFR (p=0.001) of the children from the two communities. Children living in the oil-spilled and gas-flared Niger-Delta community have a significantly higher cardiovascular parameters and a significantly lower Pulmonary functions when compared with those in the rural-riverine Lagos community.
Keywords: Cardiovascular parameters, Pulmonary functions, Gas flaring, Oil spillage, Particulate matter, Petroleum hydrocarbons