Trends in high blood pressure prevalence in Greek adolescents

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A school-based screening with anthropometric and blood pressure (BP) measurements was performed in adolescents aged 12-17 years in the island of Samos, Greece, in 2004 and also in 2007. A total of 446 adolescents were included in the analysis in 2004 and 558 in 2007. The 2007 study population had higher levels of body mass index (BMI) (P<0.05) and systolic and diastolic BP (P<0.001), compared with 2004. The prevalence of high BP was 16.1% in 2004 and 22.9% in 2007 (P<0.01 for difference). Mean age-, sex- and BMI-adjusted BP increase was 4.1/10.5 mm Hg (systolic/diastolic). In multivariate analysis, BMI, male gender and age, but also modifiable factors (lack of physical activity, breakfast skipping, smoking and low milk consumption) were associated with increased BP levels in the study population. These data indicate that further to BMI, other factors such as adverse lifestyle and dietary habits appear to be associated with elevated BP levels in adolescents. Moreover, rising trends seem to characterize the prevalence of high BP.

Journal of Human Hypertension (2009) 23, 385-390; doi:10.1038/jhh.2008.166; published online 22 January 2009

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