Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Diseases among Adolescents in Lagos: Implication for Blood Pressure Profile and Weight Status – Nigeria, December 2017

  • Chronic disease
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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) account for 31% of all deaths worldwide. The underlying pathology is a lifelong process that begins in childhood and progresses in adolescents depending on the presence of risk factors. Identifying and managing risk factors in adolescents gives an opportunity to control CVDs. We, therefore, assessed the prevalence and determinants of CVD risk factors among adolescents in Lagos, Nigeria.
We conducted a community-based cross-sectional study among 640 adolescents selected by multistage sampling in Lagos, Nigeria. We collected data on sociodemographic characteristics, family history, modifiable and intermediate risk factors for CVD using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. We measured height, weight and blood pressure (BP). Using percentiles based on age, sex and height, we determined BP profile and we determined weight status using Body Mass Index percentile calculator for boys and girls (2-20 years). We generated frequencies and proportions and identified risk factors by calculating adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence interval (CI) through multivariable logistic regression.
Mean age of respondents was 13.5±2.7 years; 323 (50.9%) were males and 608 (95.8%) were students. Overall, 106 (17.3%) had elevated BP while 26 (4.1%) were overweight. Nine (1.4%) respondents had ever smoked cigarette, 46 (7.2%) drank alcohol, 567 (89.3%) and 571 (91.2%) had low fruits and vegetables intake respectively. Smoking (OR= 4.93, CI= 1.21-20.04) and vegetable intake (OR= 0.3, 95%CI= 0.1-0.9) were associated with elevated BP. Female sex (OR= 3.6, 95%CI= 1.4-9.1) was associated with being overweight. After multivariable analysis, the predictors of elevated BP were smoking (aOR= 7.34, 95%CI= 1.65-32.60) and vegetable intake (aOR= 0.3, 95%CI= 0.1-0.9).
This study demonstrates the presence of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in adolescents. We counseled adolescents on risk reduction and referred adolescents with elevated BP to health facilities for management. We recommended routine screening for CVD risk factors for inclusion in adolescent health services.

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