Academic journal article Journal of Health Population and Nutrition

Prevalence of Hypertension among High School Students in a Middle Anatolian Province of Turkey

Academic journal article Journal of Health Population and Nutrition

Prevalence of Hypertension among High School Students in a Middle Anatolian Province of Turkey

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Hypertension may lead to irreversible damages in vital organs, such as heart, brain, and kidney, and may cause death in children if treatments are not given despite early diagnosis. This cross-sectional epidemiological study was conducted during 1 January-31 March 2004 to investigate the prevalence of hypertension among high school students. The study cohort included 1,041 students of six high schools, who were selected from among 14,789 students of 26 high schools in Sivas province of Turkey, using the cluster-sampling method. A questionnaire was used for collecting information from students on age, gender, smoking, and whether they or their families have any diseases. Blood pressure, height, and weight of the participitants were determined by the research group. Students whose repeated systolic or diastolic blood pressures were higher than the 95th percentile were considered to be hypertensive patients. Hypertension was prevalent among 4.4% (n=45) of the students. There was a significant correlation between prevalence of hypertension and body mass index. No significant correlation was found between prevalence of hypertension and other variables, such as smoking, age, gender, and family history of diabetes. The results suggest that hypertension is an important public-health problem among high school students. The results also showed that the body mass index was an important parameter in hypertension in such a study group. Researchers should consider overweight a causative risk factor for development of hypertension in early-onset groups.

Key words: Cross-sectional studies; Epidemiology; Hypertension; Prevalence; Risk factors; Turkey

INTRODUCTION

The incidence of hypertension in childhood varies from 1% to 3% (1,2). Hypertension, a chronic disease, can lead to failure in vital organs, such as heart, brain, and kidney, and can cause death. Unlike adults, the incidence of essential (primary) hypertension among children is lower, and 75-80% of all childhood hypertension is induced by renal and renovascular disorders. Congenital and vascular disorders, tumors, and history of renal disease may result in hypertension. Hypertension may lead to death, a sequel, or an irreversible damage in vital organs, such as heart, brain, and kidney, in children who do not undergo therapy despite early diagnosis (2-6).

The rising prevalence of overweight worldwide has led to an increased prevalence of essential hypertension among younger population. The present study was aimed at detecting the prevalence of hypertension and risk factors for hypertension among high school students in Sivas, Turkey.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This cross-sectional epidemiological study was conducted from 1 January to 31 March 2004. Using a multistage sampling method, six high schools, as clusters, were selected systematically from 26 high schools (with 14,789 students) in Sivas. In total, 1,041 students--from 9th to 11th grades were chosen randomly from those six high schools and examined for hypertension and some other risk factors that could possibly cause hypertension. The study group included 1,020 of targereted 1,041 students. In total, 1,020 students--593 males (58.1%) and 427 females (41.9%)--with the mean age of 15.9[+ or -]1.0 (range 14-18) years were available for contact in the present study.

A questionnaire was used for obtaining information from students by self-reporting on age, gender, smoking, and whether they or their families have had any diseases, such as urinary tract infection and diabetes. The blood pressure, height, and weight of each student were measured by the research group. Other family members were contacted for diabetes or hypertension if the student had hypertension. Based on the present habit, the smoking status was evaluated for each student.

Measurements of arterial blood pressure were performed in a quiet room after five minutes of resting in a sitting position. …

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