Prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension among children and adolescents in a semi-urban area of Uyo Metropolis, Nigeria
Introduction: In the past, Hypertension in childhood was not considered a problem but in the last few decades, it has gradually become a source of concern especially as children are known to maintain their blood pressures into adulthood. Therefore, hypertensive children are at risk of developing cardiovascular complications earlier in adulthood. In our own environment, the prevalence of hypertension in children is undocumented, hence the purpose of this study. Methods: Two hundred children aged between 3-17 years were recruited into this study from two public schoolsone primary, one secondary in a semi urban community in Uyo metropolis. The blood pressure of respondents was measured in accordance with the technique described by the 4th Task Force on Blood Pressure Control in Children. The height and weight of all eligible subjects was measured using a stadiometer and a calibrated scale respectively. Body Mass Index (BMI) was assessed for each subject and World Health Organization (WHO) charts of BMI for age and sex were used as reference standards. Waist circumference was measured according to the technique described in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Results: The prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension was found to be 3.5% and 2.5% respectively in this study. Only age (OR = 1.74, p = 0.005, 95%CI = 1.186-2.566), BMI (OR = 1.54, p = <0.001, 95% CI = 1.249-1.913) and waist circumference (OR = 1.16, p = 0.002, 95%CI = 1.056-1.271) were found to significantly predict the development of high blood pressure. Conclusion: The prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension in this study was found to be low. Hypertension/prehypertension was more likely to develop with increasing age, BMI and waist circumference.