African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Association between blood pressure, measures of body composition and lifestyle factors in township adolescents, North- West Province, South Africa

RL Mamabolo, JM Van Rooyen, AE Schutte, MA Monyeki, HS Kruger


Risk factors for development of cardiovascular disease develop early in life and track into adulthood. This study investigated the relationship between blood pressure (BP) and measures of body composition in adolescents. The study participants were 307 adolescents. Blood pressure (BP) and anthropometric parameters: (weight, height, waist (WC) and hip circumferences), triceps skinfolds (TSKF) and subscapular (SSKF) skinfolds were measured. From these parameters, body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), subscapular skinfold/ triceps skinfold (S/T) ratio and subscapular skinfold/ subscapular skinfold + triceps skinfold (S/ST) ratio were calculated and used as measures of body composition. In addition, percentage body fat was determined using air displacement plethysmography and the BODPOD scale. Prehypertension/hypertension was observed in 21.3% of the girls and 33.1% of the boys. No gender
differences in BP were observed. Twenty-five (8.1%) of the children were overweight/obese and the prevalence in girls was higher than in boys (Χ2=6.08, p=0.048). In girls systolic blood pressure (SBP) was predicted from age, WC and TSKF while in boys it was predicted from height, TSKF and SSKF. No significant association was found between blood pressure, BMI and lifestyle factors. The study concluded that SBP in adolescents correlates with anthropometric parameters. In girls, peripheral fat was strongly related to SBP, while in boys centrally located fat showed strong association with SBP. WC rather than WHR correlated positively with SBP in
both genders.

Keywords: Anthropometry, body composition, blood pressure, township adolescents.

AJOL African Journals Online