Prevalence and risk factors of obesity and high blood pressure among adult inhabitants of a military settlement in Nigeria
Background: The prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases like hypertension and obesity among others has become a public health concern. Risk factors for these diseases have been well studied in high income countries but less studied in developing countries.
Objective: The study was to document the prevalence and risk factors of Obesity and high blood pressure among healthy adults in a military settlement in Ibagwa, Southern Nigeria. The study also sought to establish if the prevalence is low among soldiers, given the documented links between physically active lifestyle and a reduction in the risk of diet-related chronic diseases.
Methods: It was a cross sectional study, 422 subjects (228 males and 214 females) was selected by simple random sampling. Factors assessed included; height, weight, abdominal obesity, blood pressure and food intake pattern. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17.0.
Results: The prevalence of obesity was (17.2%), overweight (35%), abdominal obesity (24.9%) and high blood pressure (47%). Age had a statistically significant (P<0.001) relationship with all the factors evaluated. Gender and occupation had statistically significant relationships with abdominal obesity and hypertension (P< 0.05). There was a relationship between levels of physical activity, unhealthy food intake, fruits and vegetable intake and self- reported health status respectively and obesity and hypertension, but it was not statistically significant (P> 0.05).
Conclusion: There was a high prevalence of obesity and high blood pressure, among both soldiers and civilians in this study. This may constitute a substantial risk of morbidity amongst study participants.
Keywords: Prevalence, risk factors, obesity, hypertension, military