2. Department of Science Laboratory Technology, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.
Background: Obesity is a frequent co-morbid condition associated with excessive increase in weight. It is one of the most important modifiable risk factor in the pathogenesis of health disorders such as hypertension and type-2 diabetes mellitus. Association between Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood glucose level has been consistently observed, but remain poorly understood possibly because of interactions with other influencing factors. One unresolved question is whether there is a linear relationship.
Methods: This study investigated the correlation between BMI and blood glucose level among 253 consenting Nigerian undergraduates in apparent good health and with a mean age of 22.65 ± 5.52 years (males: 22.65 ± 5.22 years, female: 22.31 ± 6.41 years).
Results: Older female subjects (24.53 ± 5.46 years) had significantly higher BMI when compared with other male counterpart (23.13 ±3.08Kg/m2 versus 22.14 ± 5.40Kg/m2, p≤0.05). Blood glucose levels, however showed no statistical significant difference between the male and female (4.09±0.74mmol/L versus 4.19±0.85mmol/L) subjects. There was a positive but weak correlation between BMI and blood glucose levels among the male subjects (r=0.43, n=151 and p≤0.05), while female subjects showed positive and strong (significant) correlation (r=0.53, n=102 and p≤0.05).
Conclusions: Older females in Nigerian undergraduates have considerable risk of increased BMI and associated abnormalities in blood glucose homeostasis. Concerted efforts need to be made by the management of Nigerian Universities to educate undergraduates on the health hazards of increased weight and the advantage of weight maintenance within the limits of what is formally acceptable.
Keywords: Obesity, weight, hypertension