High prevalence of hypertension among Iranian children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Background:

High blood pressure in children is a public health problem and the most important risk factor for cardiovascular disease at an older age. Several preliminary studies have been published regarding the prevalence of high blood pressure in which there was significant disparity.

Objective:

This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of hypertension in Iranian children using the meta-analysis approach.

Methods:

A systematic search of national and international databases was conducted through September 30, 2015, for population studies providing estimates on the prevalence of hypertension in Iranian children and adolescents. From the extracted prevalence rates, the heterogenic index of the studies was determined using Cochran's (Q) and Chi-squared (I2) tests, and on the basis of the heterogenetic results, a fixed or random effects model was employed to estimate the pooled prevalence rate of hypertension. Meta-regression was performed to determine those factors suspected of generating heterogeneity.

Results:

Of 2360 articles initially identified, 17 were considered eligible. The meta-analyses included 79 231 children and adolescents aged between 3 and 18 years. The pooled prevalence of hypertension among children and adolescents was estimated to be 8.9% [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 7.5–10.3] in overall, 10.3% (95% CI: 7.5–12.6) in males and 9.1% (95% CI: 7.4–10.7) in females. The prevalence rates of high DBP and SBP were estimated at 6.6% (95% CI: 3.9–9.2) and 6.9% (95% CI: 5.6–8.2), respectively.

Conclusion:

There is a high prevalence of hypertension among Iranian children and adolescents. Although it is slightly higher among boys than girls, the difference was not statistically significant.

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