Assessment of lipid profile of a group of undergraduates in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria
Objective: The aim of this study was to measure the lipid fractions in serum blood samples of apparently healthy undergraduates of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.
Methods: A total of one hundred consenting males and females aged between 19-30 years were purposively selected from the undergraduates of the university. A structured, validated questionnaire was used to elicit information on the socioeconomic status and dietary habits. Anthropometric measurements (weight, height, waist and hip circumference) of the subjects were measured while BMI and WHR were calculated. Serum lipid profile; total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TRG), high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) were measured. Data were analysed using descriptives, t-test, Chi square and Pearson correlation.
Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity were 32% and 6%, respectively while 20% had high WHR. Sedentary lifestyle was found in 48% of the study participants. Consumption of fast foods (48%) and alcoholic beverages (52%) up to thrice a week was high. High levels of TC (56%), increased low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (92%) and low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C)(96%) were found in the undergraduates, however, all subjects had desirable levels of TRG. Total cholesterol (TC) correlated with weight (r=0.437); waist circumference (r=0.437); BMI (r=0.401) (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The study revealed that the participants were overweight and had abnormal lipid profile. There is need for lipid profile evaluation as part of the orientation programs for undergraduates as well as nutrition education in order to promote healthy lifestyles.
Keywords: Lipid profile, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, undergraduates