Elevated Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Risk Factors among a Cohort of Young Adults: Findings from a Tertiary Institution in South-South Nigeria

Omosivie Maduka, Uchenna Godwin Ezema, Sandra Ofori



The prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease is dramatically on the increase in young adults. The aim of this research was to determine the prevalence of hypertension, and its association with risk factors for cardiovascular disease among a cohort of young adults in a tertiary institution in South - South, Nigeria.


A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted among 324 full time undergraduates of the University of Port Harcourt, South – South, Nigeria between May and July 2016. Respondents were recruited using multi-stage sampling. The WHO STEPS questionnaire was used to collect data entered into android mobile devices and analysed using SPSS version 20.


The mean age of respondents was 22.09 ± 2.36 years. A total of 217 (67%) respondents were physically inactive, 52 (16%) were overweight/obese while 91 (36.4%) respondents consumed alcohol, and 55 (17%) had used tobacco. A total of 79 (24.4%) respondents had hypertension; all of whom were newly diagnosed. Logistic regression revealed that obese and overweight respondents had 5.5 (1.72 to 17.60 C.I) times greater odds of having high blood pressure than respondents with normal BMI after adjusting for confounders. Males were also 1.84 (1.04 to 3.25 C.I) times more likely to have high blood pressure than females.


This study provides evidence of an increasing prevalence of undetected hypertension among young adults. The identified associations between modifiable risk factors and hypertension underscores the need for intensification of prevention interventions targeted at young people.


Prevalence, Modifiable Risk Factors, Young Adults


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