Elevated blood pressure and obesity in childhood: A cross-sectional evaluation of 4,609 schoolchildren

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Background: The incidence of obesity in children is increasing worldwide, primarily in urbanized, high-income countries, and hypertension development is a detrimental effect of this phenomenon. Objective: In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated the prevalence of excess weight and its association with high blood pressure (BP) in schoolchildren. Methods: Here 4,609 male and female children, aged 6 to 11 years, from 24 public and private schools in Maringa, Brazil, were evaluated. Nutritional status was assessed by body mass index (BMI) according to cutoff points adjusted for sex and age. Blood pressure (BP) levels above 90th percentile for gender, age and height percentile were considered elevated. Results: The prevalence of excess weight among the schoolchildren was 24.5%; 16.9% were overweight, and 7.6% were obese. Sex and socioeconomic characteristics were not associated with elevated BP. In all age groups, systolic and diastolic BP correlated with BMI and waist and hip measurements, but not with waist-hip ratio. The prevalence of elevated BP was 11.2% in eutrophic children, 20.6% in overweight children [odds ratio (OR), 1.99; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.61-2.45], and 39.7% in obese children (OR, 5.4; 95% CI, 4.23-6.89). Conclusion: Obese and overweight children had a higher prevalence of elevated BP than normal-weight children. Our data confirm that the growing worldwide epidemic of excess weight and elevated BP in schoolchildren may also be ongoing in Brazil.




Rosaneli, C. F., Baena, C. P., Auler, F., Nakashima, A. T. A., Netto-Oliveira, E. R., Oliveira, A. B., … Faria-Neto, J. R. (2014). Elevated blood pressure and obesity in childhood: A cross-sectional evaluation of 4,609 schoolchildren. Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia, 103(3), 238–243. https://doi.org/10.5935/abc.20140104

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