Nigerian Journal of Nutritional Sciences

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Assessing the association between salt intake, weight status and blood pressure among school children in Ibadan, South-West Nigeria.

B.O. Daini, I.O. Ajayi


Background: The relationship between obesity/overweight, salt intake and blood pressure (BP) has been observed among children in developed countries. Current epidemiological transition necessitates an investigation of the pattern in a developing country. Objective: The study assessed the association between salt intake and BP by weight status among school children in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 327 school children (8-17 years) were selected through a multi-stage sampling technique. Anthropometric measures, BP and spot urine samples were obtained. Linear and logistic regression was used to assess associations between sodium intake, blood pressure and risk for pre-hypertension and hypertension (Pre-HBP/HBP).
Results: Mean age was 13.58±1.93 years. Participants consumed an average of 2713mg/day of sodium, 67.3% had intakes above WHO recommendation of ≤2300 mg/day and 16.2% were overweight/obese. The prevalence of preHBP and HBP were 28.4% and 9.5%, respectively, Dietary pattern was associated with high sodium intake and BP. Mean adjusted SBP increased with sodium intake quartile from 104.2mmHg to 114.7mmHg overall (p<0.001) and from 108.1mmHg to 121.0mmHg among the overweight/obese (p=0.003). Adjusted odds ratio risk for preHBP/HBP among participants in the highest versus lowest sodium intake quartile were 2.1 (95% CI: 0.86-5.29) overall and 2.9 (95% CI: 1.48-8.03) among those overweight/obese. Sodium intake and weight status had synergistic effects on Pre-HBP/HBP risk (RERI=0.24).
Conclusions: The findings corroborate the association between high salt intake and hypertension and this might be stronger among the overweight/obese. There is need to initiate salt reduction programme and promote school base interventions to encourage healthier dietary choices among children.

Keywords: Sodium intake, high blood pressure, overweight/obesity, school children.

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