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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-29

Prevalence of thinness among adolescents in Kano, Northwestern Nigeria

Department of Medicine, Bayero University, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ibrahim D Gezawa
Department of Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, 3452 Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0331-8540.130165

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Background: Thinness in older children has been associated with delayed pubertal maturation, reduced muscular strength and work capacity. There is paucity of studies on thinness among adolescents in Nigeria. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of thinness among adolescents in Kano, Northwestern Nigeria . Materials and Methods: In this descriptive cross-sectional survey, we used a multi-staged random sampling technique to select 718 students from six secondary schools in Kano metropolis. A pretested questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data. Physical measurements for weight and height were carried out using standard procedures. Results: The overall prevalence of thinness was 60.6%, with a higher prevalence among boys (63.0%) compared with girls (58.7%). Grades-I, II and III thinness were found in 26.0%, 15.5% and 19.1% of the studied subjects respectively. The prevalence of grade III thinness was higher among boys (19.4%) compared with girls (18.8%). The rate of thinness was observed to increase with age up to 16 years after which it starts to fall. Older age was also found to be independently associated with thinness among our subjects. Conclusion: The prevalence of thinness among adolescents in Kano is high, with a slightly higher rate in boys than girls. There is need for concerted effort by policy makers to come up with programmes aimed at reducing the burden of undernutrition among school children in our setting.

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