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West Afr J Med. 2012 Jan-Mar;31(1):14-8.

Cardiovascular epidemiological transition in a rural habitat of Nigeria: the case of mangu local government area.

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Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Jos, Nigeria.



Epidemiological transition is at various stages in different places. The true situation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is largely unknown. Having studied this rural habitat 17 years ago, we returned there to study several cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors to see if any change had occurred.


The communities studied in 1991 as part of the national CVD survey were returned to in 2008 and re-studied descriptively in a cross-sectional manner. All adults 15 years and above, apart from demographic and personal data had blood pressure (BP) and some blood indices determined.


Over the period, some changes occurred. The mean (SD) age increased from 34.1(16.9) to 45.5(18.2) years suggesting an ageing population. More people in 2008 than 1991 lived most of their last 5 years in the urban areas suggesting some influence of urbanisation. Significantly fewer people smoked and drank after 17 years. However mean (SD) of Body Mass Index rose [20.7(2.8) to 23.7(4.5) kg/m²], as well as SBP and DBP. Prevalence of hypertension rose from 7.4% to 20.9%. Both total and HDL cholesterol rose, although atherogenic index dropped. Mean (SD) blood sugar interestingly dropped from 5.0(2.9) to 4.6(1.0) mmol/l.


Epidemiological transition is evident in this rural SSA habitat, and proactive steps to stem the tide and curb the consequences of CVD should be instituted.

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