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Blood pressure and its correlation with age and BMI among the school children aged between 10 and 16 years

K. Rangasamy, M.V. Senthamarai, R. Shankar


Background: A trend in blood pressure over a period of time in children is important predictor of subsequent trends in adult hypertension. Although blood pressure normally increases with growth and development, children with higher levels of blood pressure intend to maintain that position relative to their peer group as they mature or track into higher levels of blood pressure in adulthood and BMI acts as a major risk factor for hypertension not only in adults but also among children. Aim: To assess the prevalence of overweight, obesity and hypertension among children aged 10 to 16 years and also to assess the association between BMI, age and blood pressure. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted for period of one year in the field practicing area of our medical college hospital. All children aged between 10 and 16 years irrespective of gender were included as our study subjects. A total of 1060 school children were included in our study. A semi-structured questionnaire was designed to collect the information regarding the demographic details of the children and for all the children weight and height was measured and BMI was calculated and the blood pressure was measured using sphygmomanometer using the appropriate cuff size for the age. Results: The correlation between BMI and hypertension showed a strong positive correlation between BMI and systolic BP among both males (r=0.827) and females (r=0.714) and the correlation was found to be statistically significant whereas among BMI and diastolic BP among males (r=0.838) it showed a statistically significant correlation but among females (r=0.515) the correlation between BMI and diastolic BP was not found to be statistically significant. Conclusion: As high BP was found to be strongly associated with overweight/ obesity in this study, we recommend screening of BP should be carried out routinely in children and adolescents.

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