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Vol. 48, No. 5, 2004
Issue release date: September–October 2004
Ann Nutr Metab 2004;48:307–313

Representative Study for the Evaluation of Age- and Gender-Specific Anthropometric Parameters and Blood Pressure in an Adolescent Hungarian Population

Antal M. · Regöly-Mérei A. · Nagy K. · Greiner E. · Biró L. · Domonkos A. · Balajti A. · Szórád I. · Szabó C. · Mozsáry E.
JFNCPH National Institute of Food Hygiene and Nutrition, Budapest, Hungary

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Backgrounds/Aims: To assess the age- and gender-specific anthropometric parameters and blood pressure in Hungarian adolescents. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed between 1997and 2000. Altogether 6,345 secondary school students (aged 15–18 years) were involved in the study. The representative sampling sites were selected randomly. In the capital city 3-stage and in the counties 4-stage stratified groups were assigned for the studies. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS for Windows 9.0. Results: The age- and gender-specific percentile distributions are given with regard to body weight, body height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and arterial blood pressure values. Elevated blood pressure values were found at the first recording in 14.1% of the boys and in 2.5% of the girls. Since it is well known that the arterial blood pressure (ABP) may exhibit considerable intra- individual fluctuation with time, we therefore categorized normotensive and hypertensive students on the basis of the mean ABP values calculated from data obtained during the course of the three separate consecutive measurement periods at least 2 weeks apart. After that, the incidence of high blood pressure was 7.5% in boys and 1.1% in girls. Conclusion: The age- and gender-specific cutoff values thus formed may serve as reference values to assess the risk of developing nutrition-related noninfectious diseases in the future on the basis of the present percentile distribution of BMI. The present study also provides data on the prevalence of hypertension in the 15- to 18-year-old age group.

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