Pondering over the Lifestyle and Hypertension Status of Young Adults in Alakahia: A Semi-Urban Community in Rivers State, Nigeria
Cardiovascular diseases include hypertension, which is described as a sustained high blood pressure and shown to be associated with the black race. It has been a burden and impedance to the socio-economic development of developing nations, especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, which includes Nigeria. Westernization has gradually replaced the traditional way of living in most African nations, with Nigeria as a typical example. Hypertension is now diagnosed among young adults and studies have shown that the disease is associated with their lifestyle. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and determinants of hypertension among young adults in a semi-urban community in Rivers State, Nigeria. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study among young adults within the ages of 20 to 35 years, with a cluster sampling technique. Data was collected with a self-administered questionnaire and anthropometric measurements (Taylor’s model bath scale and stadiometer) were obtained, including blood pressure (using OMRON sphygmomanometer). Data collected were analyzed using the statistical package for social science (SPSS), version 20. A total of 400 respondents participated in this study: 176 (44%) males and 224 (56%) females. Prevalence of hypertension was 9.3%. Prevalence of risky behaviors were 6.3%, 44.3%, 65.4%, 35.2% and 6.5% for smoking, alcohol consumption, physical exercise, overweight and obesity respectively. Lack of exercise and body mass index were the identified predictors of hypertension. This study finds that the prevalence of hypertension and its determinants among young adults are high and so recommends that both smoking and alcohol anonymous clubs be introduced and established in communities to help reduce the prevalence and to promote weight loss by exercises; this will boost healthy living among young people in the community and with introduction of healthy living campaigns, there will be a drastic reduction in the prevalence of risky behaviors that predispose to hypertension.
Hypertension, Risky Lifestyles, Young Adults, Semi-urban Community, Alakahia
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