Correlation between central obesity and blood pressure in an adult Nigerian population

Franklin M. Onuoha, Canice C. Ebirim, Benneth C. Ajonuma, Nkechi T. Alabi, Patricia Eseigbe, Odinakachukwu S. Okezue


Background: Obesity has been recognised as a major risk factor in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of central obesity [using waist–hip ratio (WHR) as an indicator] and the correlation between central obesity and blood pressure (BP) in adults seen in a Nigerian tertiary health facility.

Materials and methods: The study was a cross-sectional design carried out between February and November 2015 at the General Outpatient Clinic of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Nigeria. A total of 482 consenting adults aged 16–40 years formed the study population. Consecutive sampling was used in the recruitment of subjects, whereas data were collected by the use of an interviewer-administered questionnaire.

Results: The mean age of the study population was 25.37 ± 5.49, whereas the mean WHR for men and women was 0.83 ± 0.04 and 0.82 ± 0.05, respectively. The prevalence of central obesity in the study population was 39.4% (n = 190). Female respondents had a higher prevalence (59.2%) than male respondents (8.5%), and the relationship between central obesity and sex was statistically significant (p = 0.001). Correlation analysis showed a positive correlation between WHR and BP (diastolic BP: r = 0.122, p = 0.008; systolic BP: r = 0.015, p = 0.742) in both sexes. Obese respondents were observed to be more likely to develop hypertension than the non-obese respondents.

Conclusion: This study showed a correlation between central obesity and BP in adults aged 16–40 years.


central; obesity; blood; pressure

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Submitted: 10 August 2016
Published: 03 December 2016

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