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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

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Hypertension among adolescents in Nigeria: a retrospective study of adolescent university freshmen

Olumide Abiodun
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Community Medicine, Babcock University, Ilishan, Nigeria
  • Center for Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Sagamu, Nigeria
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  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Akindele Ladele / Oluwatosin Olu-Abiodun / Temitope Ashipa
Published Online: 2019-03-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0287



The burden of hypertension is rising both globally and in Africa specifically. We determined the prevalence of hypertension and the risk factors for clinical hypertension in a population of new university intakes over a 4-year period.


We analyzed retrospectively, the records of 6980 older adolescents (15–19 years). We used population-specific metrics to categorize blood pressure (BP) based on the 2017 Clinical Practice Guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


The overall prevalence of high BP in our study was 25.1% [95% confidence interval (CI) 24.1–26.2] for elevated BP, 19.8% (95% CI 18.9–20.8) for stage 1 hypertension, and 5.5% (95% CI 5.0–6.1) for stage 2 hypertension. The prevalence of stage 2 hypertension was 8.7% (7.5–9.5) among the male participants and 3.2% (95% CI 2.7–3.2) among the female participants (p < 0.001). The multivariate analyses demonstrated an increased risk of high levels of BP (p < 0.001) with age (1.21: 95% CI 1.16–1.26), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) (1.05: 95% CI 1.04–1.05), z-score for body mass index (BMI) (1.47: 95% CI 1.41–1.54), and hemoglobin concentration (1.10: 95% CI 1.09–1.12). It demonstrated a reduced risk of high levels of BP (p < 0.001) being female (0.35: 95% CI 0.32–0.39).


Hypertension, its risk factors and the risk of cardiovascular diseases in later life are prevalent in our Nigerian adolescent population. There is, therefore, a need for the development, evaluation and implementation of context-appropriate strategies and interventions to mitigate the risk of hypertension among adolescents, and cardiovascular diseases later in life.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: adolescents; Africa; hypertension; Nigeria; risk factors; WHtR; zBMI


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About the article

Received: 2018-12-18

Accepted: 2019-01-06

Published Online: 2019-03-16


Consent for publication: Not applicable.

Competing interests: None to declare

Funding: The research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Authors’ contributions: OA conceptualized the study, conducted the data analyses and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. AL, OO and TA supervised the data extraction, collation, and cleaning. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Availability of data and materials: The datasets generated and analyzed during the current study will be available upon reasonable request from the researchgate repository (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Olumide_Abiodun).

Implications and contributions: New clinical guidelines suggest that the burden of hypertension among adolescents and the future risk of cardiovascular diseases are higher than earlier thought. Obesity is a significant risk factor among Nigerian adolescents.

Affirmation: We affirm that we have recognized everyone who made significant contributions to the work.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20180287, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0287.

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