Anthropometric indicators of obesity as predictors of high blood pressure in adolescents

High blood pressure (HBP) is the leading risk factor for mortality worldwide, but few adolescents know their blood pressure numbers. In youth, overweight is a key risk factor for HBP. The objective of this study was to evaluate the capability of anthropometric indicators of obesity as predictors of HBP in adolescents. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 1,142 adolescents, both sex, 14-19 years old, from Santa Maria, RS, Brazil. The following anthropometric indicators were analyzed: body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-height ratio (WHR), and body adiposity index (BAI). The HBP was identified when above the 95 percentile for blood pressure. We used the analysis of Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves with 95% confidence interval, cutoff points with better accuracy were identified by sensitivity and specificity values. The prevalence of HBP was 23.6%, and it was higher among boys (33.2%). The highest values for area under de ROC curves were: WHR (0.73; 95%CI: 0.69-0.77) and BAI (0.71; 95%CI: 0.67-0.75) for girls. For boys: BMI (0.64; 95%CI: 0.60-0.68) and WHR (0.63; 95%CI: 0.59-0.68). The cutoff points proposed for WHR (boys=0.44; girls=0.45) presented de highest sensitivity and specificity values, both above 60%. The results of this study support that anthropometric measures of adiposity are valid in the identification of HBP in adolescents. Boys and girls with WHR ≥0.44 and ≥0.45, respectively, are at high risk for HBP.

Adolescent; Anthropometry; Blood pressure; Hypertension; Obesity


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