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

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Minerva Pediatrica 2010 April;62(2):133-7

language: Italian

High percentage of obesity during childhood and adolescence and subsequent increases in childhood arterial hypertension

Menghetti E., Carletti M., Strisciuglio P., Spagnolo A.

1 Istituto per gli Affari Sociali, Roma, Italia;
2 Dipartimento di Pediatria, Università Federico II, Napoli, Italia


AIM: The main objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of obesity, overweight and blood hypertension amongst children and adolescents.
METHODS: The study enrolled 2045 students between 6 and 17 years of age in three Italian cities, Varese (in the North), Rome (in the Center) and Catanzaro (in the South).
RESULTS: The findings demonstrate that the obesity rate is 3.5% in the North, 6.1% in the Center and 8.8% in the South; these figures represent an increase both in the North and in the South. At the same time, the incidence of arterial hypertension has increased in respect to past years with 5.5% of the total study population diagnosed with hypertension over the 95° percentile and 7.1% with borderline hypertension. Parental obesity has been demonstrated to be a key factor in determining the presence or level of obesity in their children.
CONCLUSION: Obesity and arterial hypertension represent a worrisome departure point for a dangerous metabolic syndrome and hence require the full dedication of pediatricians in order to prevent the disease, with an urgent need for school interventions, support for a healthy diet and insistence on the necessity of adequate daily exercise.

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