OP-072 : Investigating blood hypertension in children and adolescents of a remote area

Constantinos Mihas1, Maria Rifouna2, Eleni Petropoulou2, Panagiotis Andriopoulos2, Andreas Katrapas1, Aikaterini Mpahara1, Anargiros Mariolis2 1General Hospital-Health Centre of Kimi, Evia, Greece 2Health Centre of Areopolis, Mani, Greece
Background & AIM: It is internationally recognized that the prevalence of hypertension in younger people is higher than initially thought. In addition, it seems that it is a mark of early onset of adult hypertension. The aim of this study was to investigate this phenomenon in children and adolescents in a rural and remote area in a Mediterranean country METHOD: The sample of our study consisted of 88 children (42 boys, 46 girls), age 8-18 years old who visited the Primary Health Care unit of Areopolis, Mani, Greece, a remote and rural area, in order to undergo a physical examination for health certificate that would be used for school purposes. All children participated to the study after the parents signed an agreement. Three blood pressure measurements were carried out; the mean values were recorded. The NHANES criteria were used for classification of hypertension (>95th percentile), adjusting for age and sex. RESULTS: Eleven children (12.5%) were hypertensive, similarly distributed across three age categories (8-11, 12-15, 16-18). The prevalence of hypertension did not differ significantly between genders. (Boys: 9.52%, Girls: 15.22%, p=0.420), while it was significantly correlated with increased body weight (Prevalence in normal: 5.17%, prevalence in obese/overweight: 26.67%, p=0.004) CONCLUSIONS: Although the sample of the study is not large enough, the primary results are alarming regarding the health status of children and adolescents in a rural area. The early recognition of the problem and the help of parents and the family physician might lead to lifestyle change and therefore, successful treatment of this concerning phenomenon. Keywords: hypertension, children, remote