We aimed to evaluate the blood pressure of children who had similar demographic characteristics but lived at different altitudes. Blood pressure of the children attending primary schools in Izmir (sea level: n = 425) and Van (altitude: 1725 m, n = 291) were measured by mercurial sphygmomanometer for this study. They were similar with respect to age, sex, weight, height, and BMI. Mean age of the children was 10.51 +/- 0.87 years (range: 9 to 12 years), and 358 (50 percent) of them were female. Mean systolic blood pressure was significantly higher in the children living in Van than in the children living in Izmir (104.72 +/- 11.2 vs. 97.96 +/- 25.5 mmHg, respectively, p < .001). Similarly mean diastolic blood pressure was significantly higher in the children living in Van than in the children living in Izmir (63.98 +/- 9.3 vs. 59.91 +/- 10.0 mmHg, respectively, p < .001). When blood pressure was evaluated with regard to height percentile, the number of children with a blood pressure over 90 percentile were 19 (4.5 percent) and 48 (16.5 percent) for systolic blood pressure, and 25 (5.9 percent) and 37 (12.7 percent) for diastolic blood pressure among the children living in Izmir and Van, respectively (p < .001). Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were found to increase in parallel to the increase in body mass index in children living in Van (r = 0.358, p < .001 and r = 0.235, p < .001, respectively). However, blood pressures were not correlated to body mass index in children living in Izmir. A difference of 1700 m in altitude was associated with higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels in children with similar demographic characteristics, and at this altitude, body mass index and blood pressure showed a positive correlation.
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