Obesity in adult Nigerians: a study of its prevalence and common primary co-morbidities in a semi-urban Mission General Hospital in South-Eastern Nigeria.

Iloh GUP MBBS, MPH, FMCFM, FWACP(FM), MPA, Amadi AN B.Sc,M.Sc,Ph.D, Nwankwo BO B.Sc, MPH, Ph.D.

Available online Jul 14, 2018.

[ Original ] Volume 19, Issue 4, 2010, Pages 459-466


Background: Obesity is socially and culturally
acceptable in Nigeria and therefore not usually
recognized as a medical problem. This study is aimed
at determining the prevalence of obesity using body
mass index(BMI) criterion and its common primary comorbidities
among adult Nigerians attending a semiurban
Mission General Hospital in Imo state, South-
Eastern, Nigeria.
Methods: A descriptive study using primary data
collection technique was carried out from October 2007
to December 2008. A total of 9296 consecutive new
adult patients aged 18-88 years were screened for
obesity using BMI criterion and 684 patients who had
BMI=30 kg/m2 met the inclusion criteria. The data
collected included age, sex, marital status, education,
occupation, weight(kilogram), height(meters), and
blood pressure; fasting blood sugar and fasting lipid
profile. Obese patients' perception of their obese
condition and knowledge of lifestyle modification were
also assessed.
Results: Six hundred and eighty-four(7.4%) out of a
total of 9296 patients screened for obesity were obese.
Hypertension(18.4%) was the commonest primary comorbidity,
others include high triglyceridaemia(9.2%),
high total cholesterol(8.2%), high LDLcholesterol(
6.0%) and diabetes mellitus(3.4%). One
hundred and one(14.8%) obese patients were aware
of their obese condition and majority, 72(71.3%) of
them were informed of their obese condition by
healthcare professionals. Forty seven(46.5%) of those
who were aware of their obese condition had
knowledge of lifestyle modification. However,
majority(72.3%) of those who had knowledge of
lifestyle modification demonstrated low knowledge
level of lifestyle modification.
Conclusion: This study has shown the existence of
obesity and its common primary co-morbidities among
the study population. Anthropometric determination of
obesity and screening for its common primary co-

morbidities should be integrated as part of clinic
baseline assessment of adult Nigerians attending semiurban
hospitals. Those who had obesity-related primary
co morbidities should become secondary target for risk
reduction therapy and appropriate management.


Adult, Obesity, Prevalence, Comorbidities, Semi-urban, Hospital, Nigeria.,

October - December 2010

Volume 19 | Issue 4

Page Nos. 459-466

Online since Jul 13, 2018

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