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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 143-148

Cardiovascular disease risk profile in Nigerian school children

1 Department of Paediatrics, University of Jos, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
2 Department of Pediatrics/Hematology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
3 Department of Human Physiology, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria
4 Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Jos, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Christopher Sabo Yilgwan
Department of Paediatrics, University of Jos, PMB 2076, Jos
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DOI: 10.4103/1118-8561.230260

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Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death among adults worldwide. It is acknowledged that its risk factors have their roots in childhood. The present study evaluated CVD risk factors in primary school children in a Nigerian peri-urban setting. Methodology: This cross-sectional study was carried out in two primary schools in Jos South local government area, Plateau State, Nigeria. The 241 children studied were chosen using a systematic random sampling technique to select the children from each school. Pretested questionnaire was used to elicit the information on family characteristics and individual characteristics while standard anthropometric and laboratory procedures were used in evaluating the CVD risk factors. Results: Overall, 137 (56.8%) were females (M:F = 0.76), 151 (62.7%) were from the middle class, 59 (24.5%) from lower class while 31 (12.9%) were from the upper class. The overall prevalence of at least one cardiovascular risk factor was 54%. Sedentary lifestyle was the most common CVD risk factor in 32.4% of subjects followed by obesity (13.7%), adverse CVD event in family (11.6%), high low-density cholesterol (10.3%), high total cholesterol (TC) (9.1%), and hypertension (9.1% combine, 7.1% diastolic, and 5.8% systolic). Linear regression analysis showed that body mass index (BMI) for age (β = 0.41, P < 0.001), systolic blood pressure (BP) (β = 0.94, P = 0.03), diastolic BP (β =1.26, P = 0.01), and TC (β = 0.07, P = 0.04) significantly rise with age. BMI for age (P = 0.02) was significantly higher in female subjects compared with their male counterparts. Conclusions: From the findings of the present study, interventions related to modifiable risk factors, such as encouragement of physical exercise and sports in schools, healthy and prudent diet, and weight control programs should be undertaken early in life so as to help control the development of and the epidemic of CVD in later life.

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