Background: High blood pressure is a health problem in children. Adolescents with high blood pressure are more likely to become adults with hypertension.
Objectives: The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence of high blood pressure in high school children in Birjand, Iran in 2012.
Materials and Methods: The present study comprised 2450 students, 1338 girls and 1112 boys, aged from 11-18 years selected through stepwise randomized sampling from 28 secondary and high schools in Birjand, Eastern Iran. Blood pressure, weight, and height of the subjects were measured along with calculating the body mass index (BMI). Blood pressure measurements were categorized as normal, pre hypertension, or hypertension using the 2004 Fourth Report of blood pressure screening recommendations (10). The data obtained were analyzed using SPSS software (V: 15), T test, X2, and ANOVA at the significant level P < 0.05.
Results: Overall prevalence of pre- hypertension and hypertension was 10.9% and 7.78%, respectively regarding systolic blood pressure, with respective values of 4.6%, and 0.9% for diastolic blood pressure, which was significantly higher in boys than girls. The prevalence rates of hypertension and pre hypertension increased with increasing (BMI).
Conclusions: The prevalence of high blood pressure in Birjand children is high. Routine monitoring of blood pressure and taking preventive measures to control obesity through lifestyle changes should be considered.