Profile of Cardiovascular Risk Factors among Priests in a Nigerian Rural Community

  • S.O Ike
  • E.B Arodiwe
  • C.A Onoka


Objective: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is reaching near epidemic proportions inAfrica.Achieving significant reduction in the CVD burden requires aggressive population-based lifestyle-related risk  factorsmodification. No studies have been done in this developing country on the cardiovascular risk factor profile among priests. The authors thus set out to evaluate the CV risk factor profile among priests in the rural diocesan setting ofOji River in Enugu State, Nigeria. Methods: All the available serving priests of the diocese were recruited for the study. Their biodata, demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded under standard conditions and their lifestyle habits were evaluated. Laboratory investigations of blood glucose, serum electrolyte, urea, creatinine and cholesterol were carried out. Results: Fifty priests were studied, with mean age 45.5 (± 9.1) years. Fourteen percent of them were hypertensive and 16% were obese. Eighty percent either checked their blood pressures irregularly or never at all,while only 40%were regularly on their  antihypertensive medications. Only 40% regularly engaged in any formof exercisewhile 18%admitted taking extra table salt at meals. Eighteen percent were inclined to rejecting/denying the fact of their hypertensive status “by faith”. The mean values of all the biochemical parameters were within the normal range. Conclusion: This study has shown low level of modifiable and unmodifiable cardiovascular risk factors, with a poor level of observance of lifestyle habits among the study population. It also shows a higher prevalence of hypertension in this rural setting among priests than for the rest of the country of study.

Niger Med J. Vol. 48, No. 4, Oct. – Dec., 2007: 79 – 84.

Keywords: Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Priests, Nigerian


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2229-774X
print ISSN: 0300-1652