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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 386-390

Blood pressure profile, prevalence of hypertension and associated familial factors in school children in Accra, Ghana

1 Department of Child Health, University of Ghana Medical School, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Kumasi, Ghana
2 Department of Community Health, University of Ghana Medical School, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Kumasi, Ghana
3 Department of Child Health, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Dr. T J Afaa
Department of Child Health, University of Ghana Medical School, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_1832_21

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Background: Essential hypertension, which is hypertension without a known cause, runs in families. Children from families with hypertension are likely to have a higher blood pressure than children from normotensive families. Aim: The aim of this study was to find the prevalence of hypertension and the associated family risk factors for hypertension in the school children. Patients and Methods: This prevalence study was conducted in six first-cycle schools in Accra, Ghana. School children between the ages of five to fourteen years were recruited into the study. A questionnaire, which gathered information on demographic data, family history, and risk factors associated with childhood hypertension and the child's clinical data, was used. An average of three blood pressure readings with an automated sphygmomanometer and height measurement was taken for each child. Blood pressure was categorized as normal, pre-hypertension, and hypertension using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reference charts. Results: A total of 600 school children comprising 358 (59.7%) females and 242 (40.3%) males were studied. Fifty-one (8.5%) school children had elevated blood pressure. Of these, 15 (2.5%) had hypertension, while 36 (6.0%) had pre-hypertension. Two hundred and thirty-eight participants had a family history of risk factors for hypertension. Twenty-five (10.5%) children with risk factors (family history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity, stroke) had elevated blood pressure (BP) compared to 7.2% of those without risk factors. Conclusion: Urgent positive lifestyle transformations, which should start from school to reduce the incidence of hypertension in children.

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