, Volume 177, Issue 4, pp 379-381
Date: 30 Sep 2008

Elevated blood pressure in overweight and obese Irish children

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Abstract

Background

The Irish childhood obesity epidemic, one of the highest ranking internationally, represents a major threat to public health. We sought to perform a retrospective observational study of a clinic based cohort of obese Irish children.

Methods

Clinical data relating to gender, age, height, weight, body mass index and blood pressure were analysed, from 206 children referred to a paediatric endocrine referral centre over a 15-year period for assessment of obesity.

Results

Younger patients tended to have a higher standardised body mass index at initial presentation; 92% of boys and 96% of girls referred were obese (age-related BMI ≥ 95th percentile). Boys (51%) and girls (49%) had initial blood pressure measurements in the hypertensive range. There was a correlation between the degree of obesity and systolic blood pressure, particularly in boys.

Conclusions

Obese Irish children present with significant long-term health risks, including hypertension at baseline.