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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Arterial hypertension in overweight and obese Algerian adolescents: role of abdominal adiposity

K Benmohammed, M T Nguyen, S Khensal, P Valensi, A Lezzar
Diabetes & Metabolism 2011, 37 (4): 291-7
21277245

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of hypertension in Algerian overweight and obese adolescents to assess the risk factors associated with hypertension and an increase in arterial stiffness.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 305 adolescents (133 boys and 172 girls) aged 12-19 years, who were either overweight or obese (IOTF criteria). Their body weight, height, BMI, waist circumference (WC), WC-to-height ratio and blood pressure were also measured.

RESULTS: Hypertension and prehypertension were found in 19.7 and 16.1%, respectively, of the study population, with significantly more hypertensives among the obese than among the overweight adolescents. The prevalence of hypertension was also twice as high in boys as in girls (27.1% vs 14%; P=0.004), and WC and WC-to-height ratios were significantly higher in hypertensives than in normotensives. The risk of hypertension was also significantly higher in boys and associated with WC, independent of age and severity of weight excess (whether overweight or obese). Mean pulse pressure (PP) was significantly higher in boys versus girls, in obese versus overweight adolescents and in hypertensives versus normotensives, and was correlated with WC and WC-to-height ratio. PP >45 mmHg was associated with WC and hypertension only in boys, independent of age.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of hypertension is high in overweight and obese adolescents, and higher in boys than in girls. Hypertension and arterial stiffness, as determined by high PP levels, were associated with abdominal adiposity. It is recommended that prehypertension be identified in overweight adolescents and that lifestyle changes be made to avoid its evolution towards obesity and hypertension.

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