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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2007 February;59(1):1-5

language: Italian

Increase of hypertension among roman adolescents

Menghetti E. 1, Cairella G. 2, Castoro F. 3, Censi L. 3, D’Addesa D. 3, Martone D. 3, Rosano A. 5, Scanu A. 4, Sonni L. 2, Spagnolo A. 5

1 Direzione Gruppo Studio Ipertensione, Roma
2 Dipartimento Prevenzione Area Nutrizione ASL RMB, Roma
3 Istituto Nazionale Ricerca Alimenti e Nutrizione, Roma
4 Istituto Scienza dell’Alimentazione Università degli Studi La Sapienza, Roma
5 Istituto Italiano di Medicina Sociale, Roma


Aim. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of overweight/obese and hypertensive roman adolescents belonging to a medium-low social environment. The purpose of this research was also to find out the correlations between high blood pressure and obesity, dietary habits and physical activity.
Methods. Nutritional status of 474 subjects (age 12.7±0.9 years) of a low-medium social class public school was assessed by measuring height, weight and waist circumference according to international indications. Over-weight and obesity were defined by body mass index (BMI) according to International Obesity Task Force (IOTF). Blood pressure (BP) was measured in duplicate and hypertension was defined by international percentiles. Food habits and lifestyle were investigated by a questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regression was used to relate variables.
Results. The prevalence of overweight and obese adolescents was respectively 31.7% and 10.3% with a slight higher presence of males in both cases. The whole sample showed a prevalence of hypertension of 10.1%. Systolic and diastolic BP showed a direct association with BMI and waist circumference (P<0.01). BMI and systolic and diastolic BP were lower in active students (>7 h a week of physical activity). Food habits were not associated with hypertension.
Conclusion. The high prevalence of hypertensive adolescents could be explained with the consistent number of overweight/obese subjects, their social medium-low context and their being sedentary. As reported in literature, all these factors may contribute to the “metabolic syndrome” aetiology.

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