Background and aims: Various lifestyle, anthropometric, socio-demographic and perinatal characteristics have been separately associated with elevated blood pressure in children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to simultaneously evaluate all potential risk factors and to identify the most dominant correlates of early adolescence hypertension in a large group of school children 9-13 years old.
Methods and results: A cross-sectional study with 1444 schoolchildren 9-13 years old, having full data on lifestyle, anthropometric, socio-demographic and perinatal indices, as well as blood pressure measurements. Early adolescents born large for their gestational age (LGA) (OR, 95% C.I. 0.49 (0.25-0.97)), those with higher levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (OR, 95% C.I. 0.71 (0.53-0.96)) and those of a higher socioeconomic status (SES) (OR, 95% C.I. 0.51 (0.33-0.79)), had lower risk of hypertension, compared with their counterparts with appropriate birth weight, low levels of PA and with low SES respectively, independently of the variables used in the multivariate model. On the other hand, overweight and obese early adolescents (OR, 95% C.I. 2.61 (1.88-3.62)), those with central obesity (OR, 95% C.I. 1.75 (1.12-2.73)) and those having a hypertensive father (OR, 95% C.I. 1.93 (1.20-3.12)) had higher risk of hypertension compared with normal weight early adolescents and those without a family history of hypertension.
Conclusions: Among the parameters examined, early adolescence abnormal body weight and central obesity, low PA, non LGA, low SES family and family history of hypertension were found to be independently associated with higher risk of hypertension. The identified correlates of early adolescence hypertension can be used by public health initiatives for early detection and management of this major public health problem, prioritizing early adolescents and families at the highest possible risk for hypertension.
Keywords: Childhood hypertension; Lifestyle; Perinatal; Socio-demographic.
Copyright © 2018 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.