Background: Educational and civil states affect CVD. It is not known how much this applies to our environment. We therefore sought to determine the relationship between these socio-economic variables and CVD in our environment to enable us recommend manipulations that can enhance cardiovascular health status.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional population survey of CVD in a rural community in North-Central Nigeria in 2008. Subjects as part of history gave their educational and civil status. They were examined physically and blood taken in a randomly selected subset for relevant biochemical tests.
Results: 840 subjects were studied; 27.5% were males, 77.8% married 14.1% widowed, 7.2% single and 0.8% divorced. Primary education was highest at 52.7%, secondary 34.8% and tertiary 12.5%. The rest had no formal education. Educational status did not influence BMI, SBP, DBP, AI and blood sugar significantly. SBP and DBP differed significantly according to civil status (p=0.000). On multiple comparison, it turned out that the widows fared the worst. Physical inactivity at work and leisure were implicated the most resulting in their having the highest BMIs.
Conclusion: Higher education without rise in socio-economic status does not increase CVD morbidity; and widows largely for physical inactivity have higher CVD risks. It istherefore important to discourage all cultural rites that encourage widows to be sedentary; and counsel them against undue grief and depression that tend to bolster physically inactive life-styles.
Keywords: Socioeconomic status, Cardiovascular disease, Rural, Nigeria.