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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-27

Prevalence of hypertension and its modifiable risk factors amongst traditional chiefs of an oil-bearing community in south-south Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2 Department of Family Medicine, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Best Ordinioha
P. O. Box 162 Omoku, Onelga - Rivers State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1118-8561.112065

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Background: The epidemiological transition has firmly berthed in Nigeria's oil-bearing communities, but the pace is often different in subsets of the community, depending on how readily the western lifestyle is being adopted. This study determined the prevalence of hypertension and its modifiable risk factors amongst the traditional chiefs of an oil-bearing community in Rivers State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used, with the data collected using a modified form of the WHO STEPS instrument that consists of a questionnaire component and measurement of body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure. The questionnaire was used to collect information on the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents, the use of tobacco, and consumption of alcohol. Results: A total of 106 traditional chiefs were studied. They were all males, mostly married (95.28%), with a mean age of 56.5 ± 4.10 years. The study population had a mean systolic blood pressure of 149 ± 17 mmHg, a mean diastolic blood pressure of 98.7 ± 14.8 mmHg, and prevalence of hypertension was 68.9%. Most (63.01%) of the hypertensive chiefs were aware of their status and were on anti-hypertensive drugs (50.68%). None of the chiefs were underweight, and most were either overweight (51.89%) or obese (26.42%). Nearly all (92.45%) the chiefs regularly took alcoholic beverage, while 24.53% currently smoke cigarettes. Conclusion: The prevalence of hypertension amongst the traditional chiefs was higher than in the general population. This can be attributed to their older age and acculturation.

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