A comparative study of hypertension and obesity with reference to risk factors in school children aged 6-12 years in urban and rural area


  • Milind B. Kamble Department of Pediatrics, Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College, Yavatmal, Maharashtra, India
  • Sagar G. Chopde Department of Pediatrics, Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College, Yavatmal, Maharashtra, India




Blood pressure, BMI, Hypertension, Obesity, School children, Urban/rural comparison


Background: Childhood obesity and hypertension are on the rise and limited data are available regarding the profile of childhood obesity and hypertension from India. We studied the prevalence of childhood obesity and hypertension in a representative sample of school children to find out the relationship between obesity and hypertension in study population.

Methods: This prospective, cross-sectional, observational study was conducted in Department of Pediatrics, Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College, Yavatmal, Maharashtra, India and data were collected from urban and rural primary schools of Yavatmal from 1489 children between ages 6-12years, selected randomly. Anthropometric measurements were taken to calculate BMI and blood pressure was taken. Data was analyzed using CDC guidelines and statistically using contingency coefficient. Overweight and obesity were defined by body mass index for gender and age. Gender, age and height were considered for determining hypertension. The hypertensive children were followed up at 3 monthly intervals, 3 times, to look for persistent hypertension.

Results: Amongst the 1489 children, prevalence of hypertension was 4.49% and that of pre-hypertension was 1.47% and that of overweight was 1.74% and obese was 0.87%. In girls and boys both, increasing BMI was associated significantly (p<0.0001) with average SBP and average DBP in both pre-hypertension and hypertension groups in rural and urban areas. A higher prevalence of pre-hypertension and hypertension seen in the present study group compared to similar studies in the state. Children with higher BMI were associated with pre-hypertension or hypertension.

Conclusions: Prevalence of sustained hypertension overweight and obesity is on rise in children in this part of world. Possible related factors for this current trend may be the increasing sedentary life style, altered eating habits, and increased fat content of diet. The result suggests the need for more public awareness and prevention programs for childhood obesity and hypertension.


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