Blood Pressure Pattern in Barako - A Rural Community in Rivers State, Nigeria

Friday Samuel Wokoma, Datonye Dennis Alasia


Background: The last and only national blood pressure survey in Nigeria was carried out over a decade ago in 1997, using 160/95mmHg as hypertension cut off level. The overall prevalence of hypertension recorded was 11.2%. In recent times however isolated rural and urban blood pressure studies in parts of Nigeria, using 140/90mmHg (JNC-7) cut of level have reported prevalence rates ranging from 17.5% to 31. 5%. This indicates a higher and increasing burden of hypertension in the country. It is on this background that we report the pattern and distribution of blood pressure in another rural community in Rivers state as a further contribution to an updated blood pressure trends data in Nigeria.

Methods: The survey was a cross sectional surveys of adult volunteers during a one day health out-reach in a rural community of Rivers state. Blood pressure, BMI, random blood sugar and urine testing were done in accordance with standard protocols. JNC-7 guidelines were adopted for the determination and grading of hypertension.

Results: They were 60 males and 92 females (M/F =1:1.5) with a mean age of 48.9 + 14.8years. The subjects were mostly farmers (53.9%) with female predominance. Their mean BMI was 24.8 + 4.8kg/m2, with 30% of the subjects in pre-obesity level and 15.7% with obesity. The mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) was 129.9 + 24.3mmHg, while the mean diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was 76.9 + 13.1mmHg. SBP was significantly higher in males than in females (p<0.001), no significant gender difference was observed for DBP. For SBP, Pre hypertension was observed in 55(36.2%), hypertension grade -1 in 30(19.7%) and hypertension grade - 2 in 19(12.5%) of the subjects. The overall systolic hypertension prevalence rate was 32.2 percent. For diastolic pressure, Pre-hypertension was observed in 49(32.2%) of subjects, hypertension grade1 in 21(13.8%) and hypertension grade 2 in 15(9.8%) with an overall diastolic hypertension prevalence rate of 23.6%. The aggregate hypertension prevalence rate in the subjects was 27.9%. Significant proteinuria was observed in 26.9% of subjects. Correlates of elevated diastolic blood pressure were increasing blood sugar and BMI.

Conclusion: The aggregate prevalence of hypertension of 27.9% and Pre-hypertension of 34.2% found in Barako a rural community of Rivers state is high. In addition the prevalence hypertension and cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity was high and significantly associated with elevated blood pressure. In view of the increasing prevalence of hypertension in rural communities in Nigeria, there is need for proper blood pressure and cardiovascular risk awareness, detection and control campaign in Nigerian rural and urban communities using community based screening and surveys.


Blood pressure pattern; Barako; Rural community; Nigeria.

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ISSN: 1597-4292