Prevalence of High Blood Pressure among Adolescents in a Private University in Nigeria
Keywords:Adolescent, hypertension, cardiovascular risk factors, point blood pressure measurement, awareness
Objectives: High blood pressure among adolescents is not as researched as it is among adults, notwithstanding that hypertension in adults is being tracked back to childhood. This study identied the prevalence of hypertension among adolescents, the age related pattern of prevalence and associated risk factors.
Method: A cross sectional study was conducted among university students who presented for preadmission medical examination. Blood pressure
measurement was conducted and cut off reading was based on JNC VII classication for hypertension.
Results: A total of 952 students had complete data. Participants were aged 14 – 19 years with a mean age of 16.6 ± 1.03 years. Prevalence of hypertension
among the adolescents was 6.4%. High blood pressure (HBP) distribution was as follows; systolic HBP (54%), diastolic HBP (31.15%) and combined
systolic and diastolic HBP (14.75%).
The risk factors significantly associated with HBP were male gender, obesity, overweight, alcohol, smoking and high blood sugar (p values 0.001, 0.039, 0.001, 0.016, and 0.001 respectively). However family history of hypertension was not significantly associated with hypertension (p=0.053). The majority of the adolescents with hypertension were unaware of the morbidity.
Conclusion: Hypertension is identifiable in adolescents and it appears to increase with age. Notable risk factors for hypertension in adults are also associated
with hypertension among adolescents. Regular screening will improve awareness and help mitigate the complications of this condition.