A comparison of coronary heart disease risk factor prevalence among offshore and onshore workers in the petroleum industry in Nigeria

Iwot, Isang A. (2009-12)

Thesis (MFamMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

Background: Coronary heart disease is a global public health problem. Formerly considered rare in sub-Saharan Africa, evidence has shown that urbanization and the adoption of more affluent and sedentary lifestyle in subpopulations of this region, may result in increased prevalence. One such subpopulation is workers in the Nigerian petroleum industry and this study examines their risk factors for coronary heart disease. In addition the study compares the risk profile of onshore and offshore workers. Method: This is a descriptive cross sectional study undertaken to determine the level of risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease in two groups of male workers of the petroleum industry in Nigeria; the onshore and the offshore workers. Four hundred workers were randomnly selected and invited to participate, with a desired sample size of 234. The data was collected by using an electronic questionnaire to explore life style factors like exercise, diet, and smoking that predispose to this disease. Anthropometric indices included body mass index, waist circumference and waist to hip ratio. Biochemical tests included lipid profile and fasting blood glucose. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure was also recorded. The prevalence of known hypertension and diabetes as well as the metabolic syndrome were determined. The questionnaire data was analysed and compared with the chi-square test using the software, Epi-info 2008 Windows Version 3.5.1 and the means of the continuous variables were determined and compared using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results: 121 onshore and 110 offshore workers participated. Overall the cardiovascular risk profile of onshore versus offshore workers in the oil industry was worse. Onshore workers had increased waist circumference,; though there was no significant difference in the Waist-Hip Ratio, increased rates of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and hypertension and were less physically active. Dietary differences were less marked, but more beef and chicken were consumed by onshore while more fish was consumed by offshore workers. Conversely the offshore workers had a higher BMI and lower levels of protective HDL. Overall, in this population, the BMI and the umber of diabetics were higher and the HDL lower than the country figures. Conclusion The obesity profile of the two groups was comparable to that of the Western nations and could become worse. This also reflects the fact that within Nigeria there are sub-populations with cardio-metabolic profiles that depart significantly from the national average. This is most probably due to dietary factors and poor exercise habits and calls for intervention through health promotional activities

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