Obesity, body fat distribution, and blood pressure in Nigerian and African-American men and women.

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This article describes a study that assesses body fat distribution patterns in Nigerian and African-American males and females and determines the association between body fat distribution patterns and blood pressure in young adults of differing geographical and ethnic backgrounds. The study population was comprised of 275 African Americans (92 males and 183 females) and 282 Nigerians (219 males and 63 females). The mean ages for the African-American males and females were 18.7 and 18.9 years, respectively, compared with 21 and 19.2 years for the Nigerian males and females. African Americans were more likely to be obese and overweight compared with their Nigerian counterparts. However, there were no significant differences between the two ethnic groups within gender for body fat distribution patterns based on waist-to-hip ratio. Despite being leaner, the Nigerians had higher diastolic blood pressures than the African Americans. There were no significant associations observed between blood pressure and waist-to-hip ratio for either the Nigerian or the African-American males or females, and body mass index was associated consistently with blood pressure only among the African Americans. These findings suggest that body mass index, a general indicator of obesity, is a better correlate of blood pressure than the waist-to-hip ratio among African Americans.

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