Serum Lipid Profiles and Homocysteine Levels in Adults with Stroke or Myocardial Infarction in the Town of Gombe in Northern Nigeria|
Glew, Robert H.; Okolie, Henry; Crossey, Michael; Suberu, Ojo; Trujillo, Miguel; Pereyra, Mario & VanderJagt, Dorothy J.
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 μM. These high homocysteine levels could not be accounted for by sub-optimal
folate or vitamin B12 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.
Cardiovascular diseases; Cardiovascular accident; Myocardial infarction; Cholesterol; Lipoproteins; LDL; Homocysteine; Folate; Vitamin B12; Nigeria