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Diagnosis of childhood hypertension: is blood pressure height ratio useful?

A.F. Adekanmbi
A.O. Adejumo
O.O. Obadina


Background: Hypertension is on the increase in children, the method of diagnosis is tedious. Newer methods have been suggested.

Objective: To assess the usefulness of Blood Pressure height ratio indices in the  diagnosis of childhood hypertension.

Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted among adolescents selected by a multistage sampling technique. Weight and height were measured using standard methods. Blood pressure was also recorded according to the standard method. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure to height ratio were then calculated. Receiver operating curves was used to assess the ability of systolic blood and diastolic blood pressure height ratio to discriminate childhood prehypertension and hypertension. For all statistical tests P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Total of 984 subjects were studied. Female made up 59.5%. Prehypertension was present in 4.6% and hypertension in 5.2%. Diastolic blood pressure height ratio was 0.41±0.07 and 0.43±0.06 in both male and female. (t=3.294, p=0.001). Area under the curve (AUC) for systolic pre-hypertension in both gender were 0.790 and 0.701 respectively. It is 0.9 for systolic hypertension and 0.08 for diastolic hypertension respectively. Sensitivity and specificity ranged between 0.7-1.0 .

Conclusion: It was concluded that blood pressure to height ratio can be used in screening adolescents for detection of both prehypertension and hypertension.

Keywords: Pre-hypertension, Hypertension, Systolic blood pressure to height ratio, Diastolic blood pressure to height ratio, Adolescents

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2354-4325