Hypertension risk in children increases with weight
Obesity is well known as a risk factor for high blood pressure in adults. But even in children, excessive body weight can cause blood pressure to rise. In a recent study, US researchers found that an increased body mass index (BMI) entails the risk of an increased blood pressure in children.
The research team around Dr. Emily Parker of the University of Minnesota investigated the link between being overweight and high blood pressure and the risk of high blood pressure in children in the current study. The scientists found a strong, statistically significant association between the children's BMI and blood pressure. Parker and colleagues published their results in the specialist magazine "Pediatrics".
Data from more than 100,000 children and adolescents evaluated
As part of the study, the researchers evaluated the data from 101,606 subjects between the ages of three and 17 years. Height, weight and blood pressure assigned to age and gender were checked. Parker and colleagues analyzed the relationships between the BMI, changes in blood pressure and the risk of hypertension. They found that obese children (BMI over 30) developed hypertension twice as often as normal weight children in the three-year observation period.
Risk of hypertension in obese children increased significantly
The US researchers come to the conclusion that the likelihood of hypertension is significantly increased, especially in obese children and adolescents. The noticeable negative effects of being overweight within the short observation period underline the need for effective strategies to prevent overweight and obesity in childhood, Parker and colleagues emphasize. (fp)