Background: Overweight and obesity has become a global public health burden. Compounded with this there is an increase in non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and hypertension. Early tracking of blood pressure is effective in introducing preventive measures.
Aims & Objective: The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of high blood pressure among adolescents aged 10-15 years in urban schools and to study the association of the anthropometric measurements on the blood pressure.
Materials and Methods: This is a cross sectional study involving 3624 school children aged between 10-15 years in the schools of the catchment area of the urban health centre affiliated to the Department of Community Medicine. Anthropometric measurements along with blood pressure measurements twice each ten minutes apart was done. The mean blood pressure values were included for the study.
Results: Defining ≥ 95th percentile as hypertension, 153 (10.2%) females and 177 (8.3%) males were hypertensive. Totally there were 330 subjects (8.3%) hypertensive in the study group. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of hypertension between the genders. A rise is observed in mean systolic and diastolic BP with increase in mean weight, height and BMI. There were 173 (4.8%) children who were overweight and 30 (0.8%) children who were obese. Among the overweight children, 62 subjects (35.83%) were hypertensive. Among the children who were obese, 19 (63.3%) were hypertensive. There was also a correlation between body mass index and hypertension.
Conclusion: The study points out the need for early screening for high blood pressure in school students and introducing effective lifestyle modifications at an early age to prevent the epidemic of non-communicable diseases in future.
Key words: Blood Pressure; Obesity; Hip Circumference; Waist Circumference; Height; Body Mass Index; Anthropometry