Abstract
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOMATOTYPE AND BLOOD PRESSURE AMONG SCHOOLCHILDREN IN PORT-HARCOURT, NIGERIA.

Leko Bankole J.*, H. B. Fawehinmi and Oladipo G. S.

ABSTRACT

Recently, monitoring blood pressure among paediatric population is being emphasized to allow for early detection and prevention of risk factors associated with hypertention. Few studies have highlighted the relationship between somatotype and blood pressure among children in other populations and relatively none is found in literature for the Nigerian population. The study consisted of 205 children aged 6 to 10 years drawn from three primary schools within Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. Using the Heath-Carter method, somatotype was estimated based on ten anthropometric measurements taken on each subject. Blood pressure was measured using a digital monitoring device. The data were analysed for descriptive statistics. ANOVA and t-test were also carried out to evaluate the age and sex-related differences in measured parameters. Also, Pearson’s correlation was done. The results showed that the mean age of the sample was 8.98±1.19 years and mean somatotype was 1.9-3.9-3.5; mean blood pressure were; 89±11.19 and 57±8.88, for systolic and diastolic blood pressure respectively. The student t-test result showed sex difference occurred in endomorphy throughout all ages whereas sex difference was noted for mesomorphy only at ages 6 and 13 years. However, no sex difference was observed in ectomorphy. Endomorphy correlated positively with systolic blood pressure(r=0.132) while ectomorphy correlated negatively with systolic BP(r= - 0.005). The tendency towards development of a risk factor for cardiovascular disease can be attributed to an endomorphic body constitution while ectomorphy (linearity) offers an adaptative advantage to health even in childhood. The knowledge of this relationship is relevant to public health practitioners and clinical epidemiologist.

Keywords: Somatotype, blood pressure, schoolchildren, Port-Harcourt.


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