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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 242-246

Impact of urbanization on obesity, anthropometric profile and blood pressure in the Igbos of Nigeria

1 Department of Prosthesis and Orthopaedics Technology, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imos, Nigeria
2 Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu State, Nigeria
3 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
4 Department of Anatomy & Surgery, College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Emeka G Anyanwu
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Hypertension in developing setting is often attributed to westernization of life style and stresses of urbanization, some of these increases have been noted in Nigeria. Aim: This is a study on rural-urban differences on the blood pressure, obesity and anthropometrics among a major ethnic group in Nigeria. Patients and Method: A total of 325 men and 242 women aged 20 to 80 years, of the Igbo ethnicity were selected for this study. The samples were selected from the rural and urban subgroups of the Igbo population. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, waist- hip ratio, waist-height ratio, waist circumference, triceps, subscapular, calf and sum of the three skin fold thicknesses and other anthropometric measurements were obtained using standard procedures. Result: Blood pressure correlated with age and most of the anthropometric parameters (p< 0.05 ). All adiposity and blood pressure indicators were higher in the urban than in the rural sample. Women showed higher predisposition to both general and abdominal obesities in both samples. High blood pressure occurred more often in the urban sample than the rural. Urban men had the highest mean blood pressure (p< 0.05). High blood pressure appeared much connected with the pressures of city life. Regression formulae were derived for all the adiposity measures of Igbos in both rural and urban locations. Conclusion: High rates of obesity and hypertension are noted among Igbos in both rural and urban areas. This is especially in the urban setting. The finding is indicative of a low level of attention on hypertension and obesity in the Igbos. The data reported here call for intervention programs on the risks, preventions and management of obesity and obesity related conditions.

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