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World J Cardiol. 2012 Dec 26;4(12):327-40. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v4.i12.327.

Blood pressure, prevalence of hypertension and hypertension related complications in Nigerian Africans: A review.

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  • 1Okechukwu S Ogah, Ministry of Health, Nnamdi Azikiwe Secretariat, Umuahia 440233, Abia State, Nigeria.


To review studies on hypertension in Nigeria over the past five decades in terms of prevalence, awareness and treatment and complications. Following our search on Pubmed, African Journals Online and the World Health Organization Global cardiovascular infobase, 1060 related references were identified out of which 43 were found to be relevant for this review. The overall prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria ranges from 8%-46.4% depending on the study target population, type of measurement and cut-off value used for defining hypertension. The prevalence is similar in men and women (7.9%-50.2% vs 3.5%-68.8%, respectively) and in the urban (8.1%-42.0%) and rural setting (13.5%-46.4%).The pooled prevalence increased from 8.6% from the only study during the period from 1970-1979 to 22.5% (2000-2011). Awareness, treatment and control of hypertension were generally low with attendant high burden of hypertension related complications. In order to improve outcomes of cardiovascular disease in Africans, public health education to improve awareness of hypertension is required. Further epidemiological studies on hypertension are required to adequately understand and characterize the impact of hypertension in society.


Blood pressure; Hypertension; Nigeria; Non-communicable disease; Prevalence

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