Cardiovascular risk factors in rural Kenyans are associated with differential age gradients, but not modified by sex or ethnicity
Christensen, Dirk L.
Mwaniki, David L.
Boit, Michael K.
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Background: The relationship between metabolic disease and the non-modifiable risk factors sex, age and ethnicity in Africans is not well-established. Aim: This study aimed to describe sex, age and ethnicity differences in blood pressure (BP) and lipid status in rural Kenyans. Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken among rural Kenyans. BP and pulse rate (PR) were measured while sitting and fasting blood samples were taken for analysis of standard lipid profile. Standard anthropometric measurements were collected. Physical activity energy expenditure was obtained objectively and lifestyle data were obtained using questionnaires. Results: In total, 1139 individuals (61.0% women) participated aged 17–68 years. Age was positively associated with BP and plasma cholesterol levels. Sitting PR was negatively associated with age in women only (sex-interaction p50.001). Ethnicity did not modify any of the age-associations with haemodynamic or lipid outcomes. Differences in intercept between women and men were found in all parameters except for diastolic BP (p¼0.154), with men having lower HDL-C but higher values in all other cardiovascular risk factors. Conclusion: BP and plasma cholesterol levels increase with age at a similar gradient in men and women, but absolute levels of the majority of the risk factors were higher in men.