High Prevalence of Obesity and High Blood Pressure in Urban Student-Athletes

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Objectives

To assess the prevalence of obesity and hypertension-level blood pressures in an urban, athletic adolescent population using preparticipation physical evaluation (PPE) data.

Study design

The Athlete Health Organization provides free preparticipation physical evaluations to Philadelphia student-athletes via an annual mass-screening event. From 2009 to 2012, Athlete Health Organization personnel performed PPEs on more than 2700 middle school and high school athletes. The PPE included biometric information, a history, and a physical examination. Medical volunteers measured blood pressures using a manual blood pressure cuff with an aneroid manometer. The data from each PPE were collected and analyzed for prevalence of obesity, overweight, and hypertension-level blood pressure readings.

Results

A large percentage of student-athletes were found to be overweight (20%) or obese (24.0%). Many of these athletes also had stage 1 or 2 level blood pressure readings (14.8%), a finding which strongly correlated with elevated body mass index (P < .00001).

Conclusions

The cardiovascular health of this urban adolescent athletic population is a major concern because their rates of obesity and elevated blood pressure place them at increased risk of cardiovascular complications later in life despite their participation in school athletics.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles