Simple measurements of body weight and height to determine body mass index as a routine assessment in schools would help in controlling blood pressure levels in children, suggests the study.
Shivangi Chandel, Assistant Professor, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Sukhmani Kaur, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi, India.
Shivani Chandel, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi, India.
Hypertension has become common in children and generally remains undiagnosed and untreated. The present study aims to find the prevalence of high blood pressure (BP) and examines the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and BP among school going children.
Materials & Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 240 school going children aged between 10 years and 17 years of Udaipur district of Rajasthan. Data were collected using interview schedules and somatometric measurements were taken based on standardized protocols established by the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software version 20. Hypertension is considered when BP (systolic BP [SBP] and/or diastolic BP [DBP]) level is ≥95th percentile for height, age, and sex according to the Fourth Report on the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of High BP in Children and Adolescents (2004).
It was found that 49% children were underweight, 3% were overweight, and 2% were obese. Hypertension was seen in 39 (16.2%) children (5.4% systolic hypertension, 5.8% diastolic hypertension, and 5% both systolic and diastolic hypertension). Children who were overweight/obese were more likely to have hypertension than those who were normal or underweight.
The findings of the present study indicate that BMI is a crucial factor affecting BP levels. Simple measurements of body weight and height to determine BMI as a routine assessment in schools would help in controlling BP levels in children that might cause adulthood morbidity and mortality due to hypertension.
Published in: Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
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