High Blood Pressure in School Children: Prevalence and Risk Factors

Ximena Urrutia-Rojas; Christie U. Egbuchunam; Sejong Bae; John Menchaca; Manuel Bayona; Patrick A. Rivers; Karan P. Singh


BMC Pediatr 

In This Article


The children in this study were 10-12 years of age. Although four children were outside of this age range (one 8, one 9, and two 13 year olds), they were not important outliers, therefore, they were added to the nearest single year age group. Due to the small number of children identified as Asian, or belonging to "other" ethnic/racial groups, these categories were not included in this study. Hispanics, African American, and Caucasians constituted 58.7 %, 24.6 %, and 16.7 % of the study participants, respectively. Approximately one-third of the participants were overweight. The prevalence of obesity was 32.8 %, 23.5 %, and 31.9 % in African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic children, respectively (data not shown). The prevalence of AN was 15.3 %. AN was diagnosed in 17 % and 21.8 % of Hispanic and African American children, respectively, however, it was absent in Caucasian children. For the purpose of this study, all children with BP ≥ 95th percentile, either isolated SBP or accompanied by DBP ≥ 95th percentile, were grouped into the general HBP category. Overall, the prevalence of HBP was 20.6 % ( Table 1 ). The crude and adjusted odds ratios for the associations between HBP and demographic/physical characteristics are shown in Table 1 . No difference was found by age group, yet slight differences were found for the age distribution between children with and without HBP. African Americans were 31 % more likely to have HBP than Caucasians. For Hispanics, the crude analysis showed a 71 % higher odds than Caucasians, however, this difference disappeared after adjustment. The likelihood of having HBP was at least 3 times higher among overweight children and among those with AN (Crude OR = 4.38; Adjusted OR = 3.05). After adjusting for confounding factors, the likelihood of having HBP was 3.05 times higher for overweight children (p < 0.001), and 2.36 times higher among those with AN (p < 0.001).


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: