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Assessment of some traditional cardiovascular risk factors in medical doctors in Southern Nigeria

Authors Ambakederemo TE, Chikezie EU

Received 22 June 2018

Accepted for publication 9 August 2018

Published 24 October 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 299—309


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Pietro Scicchitano

Tamaraemumoemi Emmanuella Ambakederemo,1 Eze Uzoechi Chikezie2

1Department of Internal Medicine, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Bayelsa, Nigeria; 2Department of Mental Health, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Bayelsa, Nigeria

Introduction: Almost one third of deaths globally are caused by cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Certain occupations may promote the development and worsening of risk factor for CVDs. We assessed some traditional cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyle choices that may predispose to CVDs in medical doctors in a tertiary health facility in Southern Nigeria.
Study design: Cross-sectional study
Participants and methods: One hundred sixty-nine apparently healthy medical doctors were recruited. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used to gather data on CVD risk factors. Anthropometric and blood pressure (BP) measurements were taken.
Results: Majority were males (68.0%), aged 20–39 years (43.8%), single (62.7%), and house officers (58.0%) with<1 year (48.5%) work experience. Over half were either overweight or obese. While 77.2% of those not centrally obese were males, only about 22.8% of females did not meet the criteria for central obesity (P-value < 0.05). While respondents had BP in prehypertensive (48.2%), stage 1 (18.5%), or stage 2 hypertension (3.6%) ranges, only 7.7% had a previous diagnosis of hypertension. Only 25.4% took fruits on a daily basis and engaged in aerobic exercises up to 30 minutes daily or at least 3–5 times a week. Other poor lifestyle choices included non-lean meat intake (76.8%), low water intake (88.2%), and junk food and soda drinks intake (daily 28%, weekly 51.2%).
Conclusion: Findings of a high prevalence of overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, and junk food intake and low fruits intake among doctors is worrisome. There is a need to educate doctors on adopting healthier lifestyles to reduce risk of CVDs.

Keywords: cardiovascular risk factors, medical doctors, lifestyle choices

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