Comparison of blood pressures of children living in urban and rural areas in Southeast Nigeria
Aim: To determine if there is a difference in the blood pressures, weights and heights of children living in urban and rural areas in Southeast Nigeria and to determine if their weights or heights affected their blood pressure. Methods: Pupils from six randomly selected primary schools in Enugu urban (4) and two rural communities (one from each community) had their weights, heights and blood pressures measured. Using the SPSS software their mean values were found and were subjected to z-test at a level of significance of 0.05 while the correlation coefficient, r, between weight and height on the one hand and systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure on the other for all the ages were determined. Results: A total of 2516 (1218 males & 1298 females) children living in urban area and 817 (401 males & 416 females) in rural area aged 6 to 14 years were studied. The mean systolic blood pressures were only significantly higher in the boys living in the urban area than those in the rural areas at ages 7 to 9 and 14 years. The mean diastolic blood pressures were significantly higher in the children living in the urban than in the rural areas at ages 6 to 10 years in the boys and 7 to 10 years in the girls. The children living in the urban areas had weights and heights that were significantly more than those of the children living in the rural areas for all ages studied. Conclusion: The blood pressures were higher in the second halve of the first decade of life in children living in urban areas than as found in those in rural areas but this difference disappeared by the early phase of the second decade of life as studied. These blood pressures of the rural children at this period did not correlate with the weights.
Keywords: Blood Pressure; children; Urban; Rural; Southeast Nigeria
Journal of College of Medicine Vol. 12 (1) 2007: pp.18-24