Elevated blood pressure in overweight and obese Irish children

Ir J Med Sci. 2008 Dec;177(4):379-81. doi: 10.1007/s11845-008-0228-x. Epub 2008 Sep 30.


Background: The Irish childhood obesity epidemic, one of the highest ranking internationally, represents a major threat to public health. We sought to perform a retrospective observational study of a clinic based cohort of obese Irish children.

Methods: Clinical data relating to gender, age, height, weight, body mass index and blood pressure were analysed, from 206 children referred to a paediatric endocrine referral centre over a 15-year period for assessment of obesity.

Results: Younger patients tended to have a higher standardised body mass index at initial presentation; 92% of boys and 96% of girls referred were obese (age-related BMI >/= 95th percentile). Boys (51%) and girls (49%) had initial blood pressure measurements in the hypertensive range. There was a correlation between the degree of obesity and systolic blood pressure, particularly in boys.

Conclusions: Obese Irish children present with significant long-term health risks, including hypertension at baseline.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Oscillometry / instrumentation
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Overweight / physiopathology*
  • Public Health
  • Retrospective Studies