Prevalence of Hypertension and Association of Dietary Mineral Intake with Blood Pressure in Healthy Schoolchildren from Northern Greece Aged 7–15 YearsPapandreou D. · Stamou M. · Malindretos P. · Rousso I. · Mavromichalis I.
a2nd Pediatric Department and b1st Medical Department, Renal Unit, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Medicine, AHEPA Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
Background and Aims: Pediatric hypertension is urgently increasing in Greece. The purpose of this study is to record the prevalence of hypertension in schoolchildren and to relate dietary minerals to blood pressure (BP). Methods and Results: 308 males and 298 females, aged 7–15 years, from 10 schools in Northern Greece participated in the study. BP and dietary minerals were measured in all children. Twenty-seven and 12.3% of boys and 21.2 and 15.1% of girls were diagnosed with prehypertension systolic BP and systolic hypertension, respectively. For diastolic BP, 19 and 13.3% of boys and 21.5 and 15.1% of girls were diagnosed with prehypertension diastolic BP and diastolic hypertension, respectively. Systolic BP was significantly positively associated with age (β: 0.283, 95% CI: 1.440–2.484, p < 0.001), BMI (β: 0.267, 95% CI: 0.830–1.489, p < 0.001) and potassium (β: 0.139, 95% CI: 0.001–0.005, p < 0.001) and negatively related to Ca (β: –0.160, 95% CI: –0.012 to 0.002, p = 0.007). Diastolic BP was positively related only to BMI (β: 0.194, 95% CI: 0.380–0.968, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The current study tried to estimate the prevalence of hypertension among children in Northern Greece. Early prevention through nutrition education programs on BP that include diet and exercise modifications is urgently needed in order to avoid certain chronic risk factors in early life.