Blood pressure profile in children aged 3 - 5 years: Relationship to age, weight, height, gender and body mass index
Background. Blood pressure measurement is not commonly done in children. Most of the studies done in Nigeria so far on blood pressure and hypertension are in older children.
Objectives. To determine the blood pressure profile in children aged 3 - 5 years, establish the relationship between their blood pressure and age, body mass index (BMI), height, weight and gender, and compare the results with available values.
Methods. A total of 603 apparently healthy nursery school children aged 3 - 5 years were randomly recruited from three nursery schools: two in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, and one in Asaba, Delta State. Their blood pressure, height and weight were measured and their BMI calculated.
Results. Of the 603 pupils, 311 (51.6%) were males and 292 (48.4%) were females. Blood pressure ranged from 70/40 to 120/90, with mean (standard deviation) systolic values for pupils aged 3 years 87.5 (8.3) mmHg, aged 4 years 93.5 (8.5) mmHg and aged 5 years 93.5 (8.4) mmHg, and mean diastolic values for pupils aged 3 years 55.1 (9.1) mmHg, aged 4 years 61.2 (8.3) mmHg and aged 5 years 61.5 (7.8) mmHg. No gender difference was found, but age, height and weight all correlated positively with blood pressure. The values found in this study were similar to those in the literature.
Conclusion. The mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures of the age group studied were 91.3 (8.9) mmHg and 59.0 (9.0) mmHg. The blood pressure values obtained in this study were similar to published values in the literature.