High blood pressure in school age children


Objectives: to determine the percentage of high blood pressure (prehypertension & hypertension) as well as to address some epidemiological variables that contributes to high blood pressure in school age children.Methods: a cross sectional study was conducted on 323 (46.4% boys ,53.6% girls) primary school students aged (9-11 years) selected from primary schools in Najaf city center during the period from March 2009 till May 2009.The Blood pressure was measured on at least three separated occasions using standardized sphygmomanometers with appropriate cuff size. Weight and height of all children were measured and body mass index calculated .A questionnaire paper was sent with the student to be filled out by parents (all the parents were educated). Special charts for blood pressure, body weight & body mass index were used in the study.Results: high blood pressure (prehypertension & hypertension) was found in 5.5% of students all of them were undiagnosed & not receive any medications, Obesity was reported in 9.6% of Studied & 38.9 % of them have high blood pressure. Conclusion: there was a significant statistical correlation between hypertension and increasing body mass index & between hypertension & child gender ( more in female than male child ),. the study showed that no one of the students with high blood pressure (prehypertension &hypertension) was previously diagnosed and no one had any symptom & routine measurement of blood pressure for children was recommended.