Serum lipid profiles and homocysteine levels in adults with stroke or myocardial infarction in the town of Gombe in northern Nigeria.J Health Popul Nutr. 2004 Dec; 22(4):341-7.JH
While the incidence of infectious diseases has been on the decline in developing countries, the toll of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and myocardial infarction, has been increasing. The impression of physicians in certain regions of the western Sahel, including the state of Gombe in northeastern Nigeria, is that macrovascular disease in the indigenous population is on the rise. This study was, therefore, undertaken to compare well-established risk factors for cardiovascular disease in a group of 53 men (n=34) and women (n=19) in the town of Gombe who had suffered a stroke or heart attack with the corresponding parameters in 48 age- and gender-matched healthy adults living in the same environment. The parameters of cardiovascular diseases considered were: overweight and obesity, blood pressure, lipid profiles, and homocysteine. While the male and female patients who had suffered stroke (n=48) or heart attack (n=5) were borderline hypertensive, their mean body mass index values were not different from the corresponding values of their control groups. Although the serum homocysteine levels of the patients and controls were not significantly different, 85% of the stroke patients had serum homocysteine levels greater than 10 microM. These high homocysteine levels could not be accounted for by sub-optimal folate or vitamin B 12 status. The serum levels of HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride were not significantly different between the male and female patients and their respective controls. However, the males, but not the females, with macrovascular disease had significantly higher levels of total cholesterol (161 vs 137 mg/dL, p=0.04) and LDL-cholesterol (91 vs 70 mg/dL, p=0.02). In addition, both female and male stroke/myocardial infarction patients exhibited an elevated LDL-cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio. These results indicate that blood pressure and the LDL-cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio are associated with stroke and myocardial infarction in adults in northern Nigeria, thereby creating potential opportunities for possible public-health interventions.