Objectives: This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of hypertension in adolescents and to find the relationship between an increase of body mass index and waist circumference (WC) and blood pressure (BP).
Methods: Four hundred twenty-nine adolescents between the ages of 15 and 18 at high school in Seoul were enrolled and their anthropometric data and body composition were measured. BP was measured by oscillometric devices at least twice. Hypertension was defined according to the normative BP reference for Korean children and adolescents.
Results: The prevalence of prehypertension and hypertension was 14.0%, 9.2% in boys and 9.0%, 10.2% in girls. The prevalence of prehypertension and hypertension was 9.0%, 6.0% in the normal body mass index group, 14.6 %, 16.7% in the overweight group, 21.7%, 29.8% in the obese group. The prevalence of systolic hypertension was 3.6% in the normal group, 12.5% in the overweight group and 29.8% in the obese group. However, the prevalence of diastolic hypertension had significant differences between the groups, which were 3.3% in the normal group, 6.3% in the overweight group and 4.3% in the obese group. According to WC, the prevalence of hypertension was 6.2% in the below 75th percentile WC group, 22.2% in the75th to 90th percentile WC group and 25.6% in ≥90th percentile WC group. The risk of hypertension was 5.55 times higher in the obese group and 2.04 times higher in the overweight group, 3.93 times higher in ≥90th percentile of WC group.
Conclusion: The risk of hypertension is markedly increased with obesity in high school students.