BACKGROUND: Regular determination of blood pressure is very important in children, since early diagnosis of hypertension may reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This study was conducted to determine the frequency of hypertension among 7-12 year-old children in Rafsanjan during 2007.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional descriptive study, 2370 male and female school-age children (7-12 years old) were included using multistage sampling method. Their height and blood pressure were measured by a standard meter tape and a sphygmomanometer. The criteria of the American Society of Heart, Lung, and Blood were used for definition of hypertension. The collected data was analyzed by chi-square test and analysis of variance in SPSS17.
RESULTS: The prevalence of hypertension among the studied children was 3.5%. There was a relationship between age and the rates of high systolic and diastolic pressure in both genders. The prevalence of hypertension among male and female subjects was 1.8% and 5.2%, respectively. The highest level of hypertension was among 12 year-old children. Moreover, 2.5% of boys and 5.1% of girls had interstitial blood pressure.
CONCLUSION: The frequency of interstitial blood pressure and hypertension in our participants was apparently lower than the rates reported by similar studies. This difference is might have been caused by utilizing the new and more accurate criteria determined by the American Society of Heart, Lung, and Hypertension in the present research.