• SULAIMAN AMINU BALARABE National Postgrduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN)


BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of mortality and responsible
for 16.6million death, representing one third of global death annually. It is projected that there
will be a rise in CVD mortality rates in the developing countries because of demographic
changes and urbanisation. There are limited community based data on the prevalence of CV
risk factors in Northern Nigeria. This study determined the prevalence, determinants and

awareness of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in a semi urban community of Kano State,
MATERIALS AND METHOD: The study was cross-sectional in design. Four hundred and
twenty two (422) subjects resident in a semi urban community were selected using multi-staged
sampling technique. The WHO STEP wise approach to surveillance was utilised in screening
for cardiovascular risk factors. Data collected was analysed using SPSS version 19.0 (IBM
Corp. released 2010).
Results: four hundred and twenty two subjects (199 males and 223 females) with a mean age
of 39.4 ± 14.8 (range 18 - 85) years were studied. Prevalence of modifiable cardiovascular risk
factors were as follows: hypertension 33.9% (males 29.1%, females 38.1%, p = 0.050), truncal
obesity 30.1% (males 13.6%, females 44.8%, p = 0.001), generalised obesity 16.4% (males
13.1%, females 19.3%, p = 0.035), type 2 diabetes mellitus 4.8% ( males 4.8%, females 4.7%,
p = 0.960), cigarette smoking 2.6% (males 5.5%, females 0.0%, p = 0.001), dyslipidaemia
82.4% (males 80.2%, females 83.5%, p 0.400) and ECG LVH 23.7% (males 8.3%, females
15.4%, p = 0.005). Metabolic syndrome was observed in 12.6% of subjects (males 32.1%,
females 67.9%, p = 0.117). On the whole 358 (83.7%) subjects had one or more modifiable
CV risk factors.
The most frequently known cardiovascular risk factors to the study population included n
cigarette smoking 238 (56.4%), hypertension 209 (49.5%), dyslipidaemia 183 (43.1%), obesity
155 (36.7%) and diabetes mellitus 153 (36.3%). The proportion of subjects who were aware of
heart attack and stroke as complications of CV risk factors were significantly higher in males
than females.
Apart from cigarette smoking, truncal obesity and ECG LVH, there was no statistically
significant gender differences in the prevalence of CV risk factors. Compared to
normotensives, the hypertensive subjects did not differ significantly in the prevalence of truncal

obesity [75 (17.8%) vs 52 (12.3%), p = 0.440), generalised obesity [ 41 (9.7%), vs 28 (6.6%),
p = 0.199] and diabetes mellitus [ 11 (2.8%) vs 8 (2.0%), p = 0.199]. Truncal obesity was
significantly more frequent among subjects who were aged more than 60 years (37.3%, p =
0.234), employed (31.8%, p = 0.023), females (44.8%, p = 0.001) and informally educated
(37.6%, p = 0.001). Logistic regression analysis identified gender as the only independent
predictor of truncal obesity (p = 0.001, OR = 3.850, 95% CI = 1.8 – 8.3).
Conclusions: The study demonstrates high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors dominated
by dyslipidaemia, hypertension and truncal obesity. Female gender was an independent
predictor of truncal obesity. The level of awareness of cardiovascular risk factors and their
complications was generally low, particularly, in females. Promotion of healthy lifestyle and
increased awareness of CV risk factors among the study population are recommended.