2010 Volume 20 Issue 5 Pages 408-412
Background: Although the prevalences of obesity and hypertension (HT) are increasing in children, there have been few epidemiological studies of HT in Japanese children. We evaluated the prevalences of HT and high-normal blood pressure (HNBP), and examined the relationship between blood pressure (BP) and body mass index (BMI), in Japanese children.
Methods: The subjects of this study were 2420 children living in the town of Ina, Saitama Prefecture, Japan during the period from 2006 through 2008. Body height, weight, and BP were measured. HT and HNBP were defined according to the HT criteria for Japanese children. Children with HNBP or HT were defined as having high blood pressure (HBP).
Results: The prevalences of HBP were 15.9% and 15.8% in fourth-grade boys and girls, respectively, and 11.1% and 10.8% in seventh-grade boys and girls, respectively. Irrespective of sex or grade level, a higher BMI was associated with a higher prevalence of HBP (P < 0.001). When compared with the <50th percentile BMI category, the crude odds ratios (ORs) were statistically significant for the 75th to 84th percentile category in fourth-grade boys (OR: 4.54, 95% CI: 2.36–8.76), the ≥95th percentile in fourth-grade girls (13.29, 5.93–29.77), the 85th to 94th percentile (3.16, 1.46–6.84) in seventh-grade boys, and the ≥95th percentile (7.96, 3.18–19.93) in seventh-grade girls.
Conclusions: BMI was associated with HBP in Japanese school children. In addition, some children in the lower BMI categories also had HBP.