Obesity and hypertension in children

Indian Pediatr. 1994 Sep;31(9):1065-9.


A study was conducted on two thousand five hundred and sixty school children to evaluate the prevalence of hypertension in apparently healthy school children of a prosperous, industrialized city of Punjab. The children belonged to 5-15 years age group of both sexes. The weight (kg) was taken by a standardized weighing machine while height was measured using a calibrated bar. For diagnosing obesity, the body mass index (BMI) was calculated by the formula: [formula: see text] A value of > or = 2.26 was considered as obesity. Blood pressure (BP) measurements were taken by a a mercury sphygmomanometer as per the recommendations of American Heart Association. Hypertension was diagnosed if blood pressure was more than 95th percentile for the age. Family history of hypertension was enquired from the parents of children. The BP of the hypertensive children was reassessed after six and nine months. The prevalence of hypertension was 2.8% at the first screening but decreased to 1.3% and 1.1% by 6 and 9 months, respectively. This fall was statistically significant (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of hypertension between the two sexes. At the final screening, only children of 11 years or above were hypertensive. A statistically significant correlation with positive family history of hypertension was noted; 85.7% of hypertensive children had positive family history. The prevalence of hypertension was much higher in obese as compared to non-obese children (13.7% vs 0.4%). The correlation between obesity and hypertension was statistically significant (p < 0.01).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Urban Population