Ifeoma I Ijeh, Uchechukwu Okorie and Chukwunonso ECC Ejike
Obesity and the metabolic syndrome are health care challenges of not only the industrialized nations but also of the developing countries. BMI-metabolic-risk sub-phenotypes separate obesity from its metabolic consequences. These indices have not been duly studied in Nigeria. One hundred and ninety nine adult Nigerians (52.3% females) were studied. Obesity and metabolic syndrome were defined using World Health Organization and US National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria, respectively. The presence or absence of the metabolic syndrome within the 3 BMI groups (normal, overweight and obese) was used to define 6 BMI-metabolic-risk sub-phenotypes. The results show that 12.1% (13.7% for males and 10.6% for females) of the population were obese. Metabolic syndrome was found in 30.8% (males 34.7%; females 26.9%) of the population. In the obese and overweight subjects, 33.3% and 40.9% respectively were metabolically healthy while 37.6% of the normal weight subjects were metabolically obese. BMI-metabolic-risk sub-phenotypes were found at the rates of 4%-34.2% in the entire population. The results are compared to figures from other studies, and discussed in the light of their implications for a country like Nigeria that is still battling with communicable diseases. Lifestyle modifications that encourage physical exertion and appropriate nutrition are advocated.
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