OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY AS MODIFIABLE ENVIRONMENTAL RISK FACTORS AMONG HYPERTENSIVE PATIENTS AND THEIR EMERGING ROLE AS A CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Emmanuel I. Umegbolu* and David C. Ikwuka
Background: The environmental risk factors for hypertension (HTN) include obesity, lack of physical activity, excessive sodium and alcohol consumption, among others. Overweight is defined as body mass index (BMI) 25-29.9 kg/m2, while obesity represents a BMI > 30 kg/m2. Aim: To determine the prevalence of high BMIs among hypertensive patients, the risks of hypertension and climate change attributable to BMI Materials and method: Two hundred hypertensive patients aged 35-90 selected through purposive sampling were recruited for the study. Office blood pressures (BPs) of the patients were measured using standard mercury sphygmomanometer, and their heights with a stadiometer. The BMIs were calculated as the ratios of the weights in kilogramme to the squares of the heights in metre. HTN was defined as a BP ≥140/90. Results: Prevalence of overweight and obesity (high BMIs) was 65%. Risk of HTN and climate change was 0.65. Prevalence of overweight peaked at 55-64 years (43.6%), while obesity was at 35-44 years (57.1%). The females (36%) were more obese than the males (29%). Correlations between BMI and systolic BP was positive, strong and significant (r=0.88, p=0.05). For the diastolic BP it was also positive and strong, but not significant (r=0.76, p=0.14). Conclusion: To reduce the risk of high BP posed by high BMIs, and their emerging role in climate change, there is need to modify individual’s eating habits and increase physical activity. Drugs and surgery could also be employed in some cases where conservative measures fail.
Keywords: overweight, obesity, environmental, risk, hypertensive, climate.
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