*Akujobi, I.C. and Agbaghara, O.T.
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Imo State University, PMB 2000, Owerri.
*Corresponding author: [email protected]
Background: Knowledge of dietary modifications such as reduction in calorie, salt and alcohol intake as well as increase in the intake of fruits and vegetables is recommended in the prevention and control of hypertension. Objective: This study aimed at evaluating the nutrition knowledge and nutritional status of the elderly hypertensive patients in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area (LGA) Imo state.
Materials and methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey comprising of two hundred hypertensive elderly patients. Four hospitals and three health centers in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, Imo State were randomly selected and one in every fourth hypertensive patient that attended each selected study centre was recruited per day. A structured and validated questionnaire was used to collect information on socioeconomic data, food consumption pattern and nutrition knowledge. Heights, weight, blood pressure, waist and hip circumference measurements were determined using a standiometercalibrated in centimeter, Harison weighing scale, manual sphygmomanometer and stethoscope and non stretchable steel tape respectively. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s Chisquare and Pearson’s bivariate correlations.
Results: Fifty one percent (51%) of the subjects were females while 48% were males. Forty seven (47%)of the respondents had moderate knowledge of nutrition, 58% had stage one hypertension and 46% were overweight. Majority (74.0%) of the subjects eat three times a day. Eleven percent of the respondents consume at least one fruit daily while 40.0% consume at least one vegetable daily. There was significant association (p =0.002) between good nutrition knowledge, body mass index and blood pressure.
Conclusion: The findings from this study show that good nutrition knowledge enhances healthy dietary practices and maintenance of good nutritional status and blood pressure among hypertensive elderly population. Key words: nutrition knowledge, high blood pressure, nutritional status, elderly