Waist circumference as high blood pressure predictor in school age children.


Nilcemar Rodrigues Carvalho Cruz


Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora. R. José de Tassis 350, Vila Bretas. 35030-250 Governador Valadares MG Brasil. [Email]


Childhood hypertension is becoming more common with the increasing numbers of child obesity, which has encouraged new studies to identify a good anthropometric marker for high blood pressure levels. The objective this study was to identify the best anthropometric predictor of risk of hypertension in children between 8-10 years of age. The Children were evaluated for socioeconomic status and their blood pressure (BP), weight, height, waist circumference (WC) and percentage of body fat (PBF) were measured. The study included 445 children, of which 50.1% were females. The prevalence of obesity defined by body mass index (BMI) was 14.6%. Increased BP was found in 3.4% and 2.2% of the children, considering the pre-hypertension and hypertension classifications respectively. The arithmetic mean of BP value correlated significantly with BMI, WC and PBF. After height control, the correlations that were maintained significant were between WC and systolic blood pressure (SBP) and between WC and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). The variable with the highest predictive power of the occurrence of hypertension was WC. The results indicate that, in this population of children between 8 and 10 years old, WC is a measurement of higher value in predicting increased BP.

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