Elevated blood pressure in overweight and obese Irish children
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- Finucane, F.M., Pittock, S., Fallon, M. et al. Ir J Med Sci (2008) 177: 379. doi:10.1007/s11845-008-0228-x
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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.
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.
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.
Obese Irish children present with significant long-term health risks, including hypertension at baseline.