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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557

Abstract

MOURA, Adriana A; SILVA, Maria A. M; FERRAZ, Maria R. M. T  and  RIVERA, Ivan R. Prevalence of high blood pressure in children and adolescents from the city of Maceió, Brazil. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2004, vol.80, n.1, pp. 35-40. ISSN 0021-7557.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572004000100008.

OBJECTIVES: To define the prevalence of high blood pressure in a representative sample of children and adolescents from the city of Maceió, state of Alagoas, Brazil, and to investigate the association of high blood pressure with age, sex and nutritional status. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was carried out from May 2000 to September 2002. Individuals between 7 and 17 years of age were selected among all the 185,702 students from public and private schools. The size of the sample was defined based on the expected prevalence of hypertension for the age group. After randomization, data were collected through a questionnaire. Blood pressure was measured twice. Weight and height were also measured. High blood pressure was defined as systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure over the 95th percentile in one or in both measures. RESULTS: The final sample included 1,253 students (706 females). One hundred and eighteen students had high blood pressure (mean age 13 years; 44% males). Risk of being overweight and excess weight were identified, respectively, in 9.3 and 4.5% of the students. These variables were significantly associated with high blood pressure. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of high blood pressure was 9.4%. High blood pressure was significantly more frequent among overweight students and among those at risk for being overweight.

Keywords : Blood pressure; prevalence; children; adolescents.

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