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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

High blood pressure in school children: prevalence and risk factors

Ximena Urrutia-Rojas1, Christie U Egbuchunam1, Sejong Bae2*, John Menchaca3, Manuel Bayona4, Patrick A Rivers5 and Karan P Singh2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Social and Health Behavior, School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

2 Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

3 Pediatrics, Cook Children's Hospital Network, Dallas, Texas, USA

4 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

5 Health Care Management, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA

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BMC Pediatrics 2006, 6:32  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-6-32

Published: 16 November 2006

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of high blood pressure (HBP) and associated risk factors in school children 8 to 13 years of age.

Methods

Elementary school children (n = 1,066) were examined. Associations between HBP, body mass index (BMI), gender, ethnicity, and acanthosis nigricans (AN) were investigated using a school based cross-sectional study. Blood pressure was measured and the 95th percentile was used to determine HBP. Comparisons between children with and without HBP were utilized. The crude and multiple logistic regression adjusted odds ratios were used as measures of association.

Results

Females, Hispanics, overweight children, and children with AN had an increased likelihood of HBP. Overweight children (BMI ≥ 85th percentile) and those with AN were at least twice as likely to present with HBP after controlling for confounding factors.

Conclusion

Twenty one percent of school children had HBP, especially the prevalence was higher among the overweight and Hispanic group. The association identified here can be used as independent markers for increased likelihood of HBP in children.