Study of blood pressure profile and correlation of hypertension with age, sex, anthropometric measurements (weight, height, body mass index), socio economic status and hereditary factors in school going children

Kamatham Madhusudhan, Rajendra Betham, Venkateswara Rao Jampana


Background: Pre hypertension in childhood is a precursor of hypertension in adulthood. Weight, height and body mass index (BMI) can be taken as surrogate marker of prevalence of hypertension and hence measurement of these parameters can help in early detection of children at risk of hypertension. The present study was done to determine the correlation of hypertension with age, gender, anthropometric measurements, socioeconomic status, and hereditary factors and to estimate the prevalence of hypertension and pre hypertension.

Methods: It is an observational study involving 1009 healthy urban school children of 5 to 15 years of age. Height and weight were taken according to standard techniques (Jelliffee 1966). In order to exclude age as a confounding factor; BMI was plotted on percentile charts.

Results: There was a linear increase of mean blood pressure with increasing age, height and weight. The mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures of children with BMI 85th to 95th percentile (overweight group) and with BMI ≥95th percentile (obese group) were higher than the lower BMI groups. The children belonging to high socio economic status (class I) and those with family history of hypertension were having higher mean values of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Equal number of children belonged to pre hypertension (65) and hypertension (67) category.

Conclusions: The mean systolic and diagnostic blood pressure was equal in both sexes. Children with overweight/obesity, family history of hypertension and class I socioeconomic status had increased mean values of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Prevalence of high blood pressure was 13.1% (pre hypertension: 6.44% and hypertension: 6.64%).


BMI, Hypertension, School children, Systolic blood pressure

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