Prevalence of hypertension and related factors in primary school students in Aydın
Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the current prevalence of hypertension and predicting factors in primary school children living in Aydın.
Methods: A representative sample of primary school children in Aydin, attending 1st to 5th grades were randomly chosen and their blood pressure, height and weight measurements were obtained. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated by using kg/m2 formula. “Childhood Hypertension Task Force Report” tables were used to classify normal and high blood pressure and “Centres for Disease Control (CDC 2000)” charts were used to identify BMI percentiles normal, overweight, obese classification.
Results: A total of 826 primary school age children between 6-11 years old were included in the study. Prevalence of hypertension in primary school children in Aydin was 17.8%. Girls, overweight and obese children and children of higher educated mothers were found to be associated with hypertension. BMI percentiles were positively correlated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Conclusions: Our results reveal that childhood hypertension remains as an important child health issue and it is associated with overweight. Early identification of children with hypertension is possible by a routine blood pressure monitoring in paediatric well-child visits and blood pressure monitoring in children are yet to be in need of emphasizing its importance. Primary care physicians and health care providers carry an important responsibility on this issue.