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Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia

Print version ISSN 0066-782XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4170


REZENDE, Dilermando Fazito de et al. Prevalence of systemic hypertension in students aged 7 to 14 years in the municipality of Barbacena, in the State of Minas Gerais, in 1999. Arq. Bras. Cardiol. [online]. 2003, vol.81, n.4, pp.381-386. ISSN 0066-782X.

OBJECTIVE: To detect the prevalence of systemic hypertension in children and to establish the relation between blood pressure levels and sex, age, ethnicity, weight, and height. METHODS: The prevalence of systemic hypertension and its relation to sex, age, ethnicity, weight, and height were studied in 611 students aged 7 to 14 years out of 19.928 students classified according to age, ethnicity, and sex, who underwent anthropometric evaluation and blood pressure measurement. Hypertensive individuals were considered those whose blood pressure level was > the 95th percentile for age and sex, confirmed on 3 examinations. RESULTS: The prevalence of hypertension was 16.6% in the first evaluation, and 4.6% and 2.5% in the subsequent evaluations. The mean blood pressure levels increased with age. Weight was important, not only to determine blood pressure in healthy children, but also to determine systemic hypertension in children, which was not observed with height despite the different studies. The prevalence of systemic hypertension in the different ethnic groups and the mean blood pressure levels according to sex were similar. CONCLUSION: In addition to routine physical examinations, age, weight, and appropriate cuff size should be considered when assessing blood pressure in children to prevent hypertension, morbidity and mortality, and to avoid placing a financial burden on health care providers.

Keywords : hypertension; children; epidemiology.

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