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BACKGROUND: Urbanization and westernization now predispose rural dwellers to many of the modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
OBJECTIVES: We assessed the prevalence of CVD risk factors and electrocardiographic (ECG) pattern in 2 rural communities of Osun State, South West Nigeria.
METHODS: Descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in March 2011 in two agrarian communities as part of the activities commemorating the World Kidney Day and World Glaucoma day. A total of 259 consenting adults (age ≥ 18 years) participated in the study. Pre-tested, standardized, structured questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics and cardiovascular risk factors. Only 64 participants had ECG done on them. Data were analyzed using the SPSS 17 software. Approval was obtained from the institution’s ethical research committee.
RESULTS: Hypertension was present in 23.9%, 7.3% had diabetes mellitus. Left ventricular hypertrophy was present in 12.5% and 23.4% had prolonged QTc. Obesity was present in 11.5%; 17.8%, 13.5% and 38.2% had high total cholesterol, LDL and TG levels respectively, while 49.8% had low HDL values. Multiple risk factors were present in 28.2% of the total respondents. Predictors of obesity include female gender, high total cholesterol level and low HDL levels. Predictors of hypertension include age >45 years, being obese, having high total cholesterol and low HDL levels.
DISCUSSION: The preponderance of multiple cardiovascular risk factors found in this study compounds the possible epidemic of CVD and its sequelae. Prolonged QTc calls for caution in administration of contraindicated drugs.
CONCLUSION: CVD risk factors are present in rural areas of Nigeria hence the need for primordial and primary prevention efforts.