Pediatric hypertension in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Med J. 2015 Jun;36(6):713-9. doi: 10.15537/smj.2015.6.10479.


Objectives: To compare the levels of blood pressure (BP) between male and female adolescents in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and reference percentiles for Saudi adolescents. A secondary aim was to explore the distribution of BP among the participants based on age and gender.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 146 boys and girls attending intermediate and secondary schools in 2 regions (Al-Mallaha and Al-Mubarraz) in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Weight, random blood glucose, and BP were collected by a team of health educators in the morning of the school day between April and May 2014.

Results: Of the current sample of adolescents originally from the Eastern Province, 30% had systolic blood pressure (SBP) of ≥140 mm Hg and 22% had diastolic blood pressure of ≥90 mm Hg. For girls between 13 and 16 years old, the SBP was greater than the 95th percentile of Saudi national norms. Participants were classified by gender and school stage, and one-way analysis of variance showed significant differences in the means of SBP between intermediate boys (127±2.5 mm Hg) and secondary boys (136±2.1 mm Hg) (p less than 0.05), and between intermediate boys and intermediate girls (138±1.6 mm Hg) (p less than 0.01).

Conclusion: The increased level of BP among adolescents originally from the Eastern Province raises the need to update the current BP nomograms, considering possible differences for specific geographic areas across the country. Implementing therapeutic life style management in girls' schools is recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Body Weight
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Nomograms
  • Reference Values
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors


  • Blood Glucose