Blood Pressure Profiles And Determinants Of Hypertension Among Public Secondary School Students In Nnewi, Southeast Nigeria


  •   Ebelechuku Francesca Ugochukwu

  •   Chinyere Ukamaka Onubogu

  •   Victoria C. Ofora

  •   Kenneth Nchekwube Okeke

  •   Chinenye M. Uju


Background: Hypertension and associated factors among adolescents have not been given the deserved attention in health care, more so as hypertensive children end up as hypertensive adults with serious co-morbidities. This is even more expedient among public school students, who in our environment are generally of lower socioeconomic status than those in private schools.

Objective: To determine the BP profiles and association of obesity indicators, socioeconomic level and physical activity with hypertension among public secondary school students.

Methodology: A cross-sectional school-based assessment of blood pressure (BP), body mass index (BMI), weight to height ratio (WHR), waist circumference (WC), physical activity and socioeconomic level among 593 students aged 10 – 17 years in public schools in Nnewi, Southeast Nigeria was carried out.

Results: The mean systolic BP increased with age and was higher for girls than for boys. The prevalence of systolic hypertension and prehypertension were 8.4% and 6.6% respectively, while that of diastolic hypertension and prehypertension were 5.7% and 11.8% respectively. Both systolic and diastolic hypertension occurred in 2.4% of students. Girls had a higher prevalence of hypertension – both systolic and diastolic. There was no significant gender difference in the prevalence of systolic hypertension and prehypertension between early and late adolescents. Early adolescent males were more likely to have diastolic hypertension and prehypertension compared to late adolescent males, while no difference in prevalence was noted among the females. Systolic hypertension was more evident in the lower socioeconomic level, those with minimal physical activity, and those in the obese/overweight categories of BMI, WC, and WHR.

Conclusion: There is a noteworthy prevalence of hypertension among adolescent public secondary school students in Nnewi. This was significantly higher among the female gender, lower socioeconomic level and students with minimal physical activity. Waist circumference in the obese/overweight category very likely predicts hypertension.

Keywords: Adolescent; blood pressure; hypertension; public school student


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How to Cite
Ugochukwu, E., Onubogu, C., Ofora, V., Okeke, K., & Uju, C. (2020). Blood Pressure Profiles And Determinants Of Hypertension Among Public Secondary School Students In Nnewi, Southeast Nigeria. European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 2(3).