Non-communicable diseases have emerged as major public health concerns in developing nations, where communicable diseases used to be the major contributor to the public health burden. Diabetes and hypertension contribute significantly to this menace, and they are largely undiagnosed in the affected population. We determined the prevalence of previously diagnosed and undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes mellitus in adult Nigerians.
Participants who presented in response to advertisement for the study and gave informed consent were recruited using convenience sampling. Data was collected using a proforma to obtain salient medical and social history. Anthropometric and blood pressure measurements were done. Capillary blood was taken for initial glucose measurements. Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was subsequently done in non-diabetics with elevated blood glucose to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes.
One hundred and thirty-six participants with age range 24 – 90 years were recruited for the study. Participants were mainly females (61.8%). Prevalence of diabetes among study participants was 19.9% (previously diagnosed -16.9% vs undiagnosed – 3.0%) with higher occurrence among males. Hypertension was found in 50.7% of participants; 28.7% were on treatment for hypertension, while 22.0% were newly diagnosed. Diabetes was associated with older age and elevated systolic blood pressure while hypertension was associated with older age, obesity and elevated blood glucose.
This study showed a high occurrence of diabetes and hypertension among adult Nigerians; hence efforts to address these should be intensified. Targeted screening of people at risk for non-communicable diseases is an added benefit.

Copyright © 2021 by West African Journal of Medicine.