Iranian Journal of Pediatrics 2007. 17(Suppl 2):237-242.

Prevalence of Hypertension in Junior and Senior High School Children in Iran
Neamatollah Ataei,  Asghar Aghamohammadi,  Vahid Ziaee, Mostafa Hosseini,  Farzin Dehsara,  Aliasghar Rezanejad


Objective: To determine the prevalence of high blood pressure in a representative sample of children and adolescents from Tehran, Iran, and also to compare our results with those reported by the Second Task Force.

Material & Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out from March 2004 to September 2005. Individuals between 13 and 18 years of age were selected randomly from the list of schools (grade 6 through 12) in various locations throughout Tehran. All measurements were performed at public and high schools. The size of the sample was defined based on the expected prevalence of hypertension for the age group. After randomization, data were collected through a questionnaire. Blood pressure was measured twice. Weight and height were also measured. High blood pressure was defined as systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure over the 95th percentile in both measures.

Findings: The final sample included 6038 (3280 boys 2758 girls) apparently healthy students. In all students who had a systolic or diastolic blood pressure equal or more than the 95th percentile, blood pressure was measured after 1 and 2 weeks (second and third rescreening). Blood pressure was elevated in 287 students in the initial screening (4.7%), with a decrease to 1.0% and 0.8% when this group was screened a second and third time respectively. According to the 1987 Task Force Report in United States, systolic hypertension was found in 2.8% and diastolic hypertension in 3.4% in screening. In rescreening, both systolic and diastolic hypertension had fallen to 0.7%. In the third screening systolic hypertension had fallen to 0.6% and diastolic hypertension to 0.5%.

Conclusion: The prevalence of elevated blood pressure was 0.8% in the present study. No statistically significant difference was noted between the prevalence of elevated blood pressure between genders. Additionally, these results confirm the importance of the Task Force recommendation that multiple BP measurements should be obtained before making a diagnosis of hypertension.


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