Prevalence of hypertension in a sample of schoolchildren in the Belgrade district

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hypertension in a sample of schoolchildren in the district of Vozdovac (Belgrade).

Methods

This study included 780 pupils from I, III, V and VII classes of a primary school and I and III classes of a high school in the district of Vozdovac (Belgrade). The anthropometric data were obtained from medical records of a regular health survey in 2014–2015. Blood pressure (BP) was measured three times using a mercury sphygmomanometer with a cuff of appropriate size at a 5 min interval. BP values at or above the 95th percentile for age, sex, and height were considered indicative of hypertension. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, χ2-test, t-test, and correlation analysis.

Results

Of the participating students, 15.0% were overweight and 6.7% were obese. A significant negative correlation was observed between BMI categories and age (ρ=−0.126; P<0.01). The average systolic blood pressure values in boys and girls were 105.0±14.1 (range 80.0–150.0) and 102.5±12.3 (range 80–155) mmHg, respectively. The average diastolic blood pressure values in boys and girls were 67.6±8.8 (range 50–100) and 66.2±7.7 (range 50–95) mmHg, respectively. The prevalence of hypertension was 10.5%. A significant positive association was found between the presence of hypertension and age (ρ=0.150, P<0.01) and higher BMI level (ρ=0.115, P<0.01).

Conclusion

In our sample of schoolchildren, a high prevalence of hypertension was found. Moreover, elevated BP values correlated strongly with age and BMI.

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