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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2017, Article ID 8196362, 10 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/8196362
Research Article

Predictors of Hypertension in a Population of Undergraduate Students in Sierra Leone

1Department of Biological Sciences, Njala University, PMB, Freetown, Sierra Leone
2Institute of Food Technology, Nutrition & Consumer Studies, Njala University, PMB, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Correspondence should be addressed to Aiah Lebbie; moc.liamg@eibbelhaia

Received 29 March 2017; Revised 27 June 2017; Accepted 4 July 2017; Published 3 August 2017

Academic Editor: Tomohiro Katsuya

Copyright © 2017 Aiah Lebbie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We report on the first survey of hypertension in undergraduates in Sierra Leone. Levels of hypertension (12%) and obesity (4%) appear low compared to the general population but given the rapid increase of both and the expectation that many graduates will enter the formal employment sector and a sedentary lifestyle, there is still cause for concern. We measured their BMI (body mass index) and used a questionnaire to investigate demographic and lifestyle choices. In agreement with most authorities, we found that BMI and age were statistically significant predictors of systolic and diastolic blood pressure but that the explanatory power was low ( to 0.27). Men may be more sensitive than women to an increase in BMI on blood pressure (). We failed to find statistically significant relationships with ethnicity, religion, stress, course of study, levels of physical activity, diet, smoking, or consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Family history of hypertension, consumption of red palm oil, and self-diagnosed attacks of typhoid fever were close to conventional levels of significance (). We intend to use this as a baseline for longitudinal studies to assess risks and suggest appropriate public health action.