Prevalence of Hypertension among Teenage Students in Kano, Nigeria
Background: Hypertension has been reported among young people worldwide. It is known to track from youth to adulthood, which makes it a useful predictor of essential hypertension in adulthood. This study determined the prevalence of hypertension and associated cardiovascular risk factors among secondary school teenagers in Kano, Nigeria. Methods: A questionnaire was administered on a cross section of 1000 teenage students to inquire about cardiovascular risk factors. Participants\' blood pressure, height and weight were measured. Relevant investigations were done for those with raised blood pressure. Results: The participants\' ages ranged from 13 to 19 years with a mean of 15.91.62 years. Seventy of the students had systolic blood pressure140mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure 90mmHg giving a prevalence rate of hypertension of 7.2% [95% CI=5.6-8.9%]. Specifically, 32 (6.7%) of the 476 males were hypertensive compared to 38 (7.7%) of the 492 female participants. This difference was not statistically significant (2 =1.6 df=1 p>0.05). The prevalence rate of hypertension rose from 4.3% (among the younger participants) to 11.8% among the oldest students. Of the 70, a majority (88.5%) had grade 1 hypertension, 10.0% had Grade 2 hypertension and 1.5% had Grade 3 hypertension. The hypertensives were about twice more likely to have a family history of hypertension compared to their normotensive counterparts. This difference was statistically significant [OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.12-3.83] (2 =6.4 df=1 p=0.01). Conclusion: Hypertension exists among teenage students in Kano, Nigeria. Early detection can reduce risk of cardiovascular changes and end organ damage.
Keywords: Hypertension, Teenagers, Students,
Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (2) 2008: pp. 175-180