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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 13-19

Prevalence of over-nutrition and elevated blood pressure among primary school children in non-urban areas of mid-western Nigeria

1 Department of Paediatrics, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, PMB 08, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, PMB 08, Irrua; Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, Ambrose Alli University, PMB 14, Ekpoma, Edo Sate, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adewale E Adetunji
Department of Paediatrics, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, PMB 08, Irrua, Edo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aim: There is an emerging problem of over-nutrition (ON) and associated complications in developing countries. However, data are limited on the size of the problem in primary school children, particularly those in non-urban areas, and on the trend in Nigeria. The study aimed at determining the prevalence of ON and elevated blood pressure (EBP), and the association between them among primary school children in non-urban areas. Materials and Methods: 1187 school children aged 6-11 years were recruited through multistage sampling. Their body mass index (BMI) and blood pressures were determined and classified using standard methods. The statistical significance of the difference between groups was determined using Yates' corrected χ2 test or Fisher exact test as appropriate, with the level of significance set at p <0.05. Results: A total of 48 (4.0%) pupils had ON, and 69 (5.8%) EBP while 10 (0.8%) had both. The OR (95% CI) of hypertension in obese versus normal pupils was 28.59 (10.09, 80.99), p <<0.001). The OR (95% CI) of EBP in overweight or obese pupils (10/58, 17.2%) versus normal, thin or severely thin pupils (69/1129, 6.1%) was 3.2 (1.55, 6.60), p = 0.007. Conclusion: The prevalence of ON and EBP among primary school pupils in non-urban areas are low but EBP is associated with obesity. Therefore, early intervention and preventive measures for over-nutrition which include increase in physical activity and reduction of sedentary lifestyle among others should be in place as part of the School Health Programme and community-based program. This could greatly limit the further emergence and reduce the associated burden of over-nutrition.

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