The prevalence of hypertension in school going children of Cairo, Egypt
Background: Pediatric hypertension is a field of increasing interest and importance. Early identification of children at risk for hypertension is important in its control to prevent the serious long-term complications associated with the condition. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of hypertension and risk factors among school going children in the district of Shubra in Greater Cairo, Egypt. Materials and Methods: School going children aged between 6 to 13 years were selected by a purposive sampling method and blood pressure measurements were taken by a mercury sphygmomanometer as per recommendation of the American Heart Association. Hypertension in children and adolescents continues to be defined as systolic BP and/or diastolic BP that is, on repeated measurement, greater than or equal to the 95th percentile. Results: Total prevalence of hypertension in our study was 15.4%. Hypertension in males was 18.8% and 12.5% in females. Prevalence of obesity in hypertensive children was 20.9% against normotensive 14.4% (P<0.05). Prevalence of hypertension in children with a family history of hypertension was 68.78% and 4.22% in children without a family history of hypertension (P=0.01). Prevalence of obesity in family members was 54.15% in hypertensive and 28% in normotensive (P<0.05). Conclusion: Prevalence of hypertension was 15.4% in the study subjects. We identified obesity and a family history of hypertension to be significantly associated with childhood hypertension.