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J Hum Hypertens. 2002 Jul;16(7):473-8.

Blood pressure and urinary excretion of electrolytes in Spanish schoolchildren.

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Hypertension Unit, University Hospital of Granada, Spain.


Despite the importance of hypertension in adults, its effects on child health are poorly understood. This cross-sectional epidemiological study was designed to look for a relationship between elevated blood pressure (BP) in children and 24-h urinary excretion of sodium (Na) and potassium (K), and between BP and dietary salt intake. The study population was all 59 856 schoolchildren aged 6 to 14 years in the province of Almería in southern Spain, among whom 613 participants were chosen randomly for study. We measured 24-h urinary Na and K concentrations, systolic and diastolic BP, body weight and height. There was a weak correlation between Na excretion and systolic BP (r = 0.18, 95% confidence interval 0.10-0.26), and between K excretion and systolic BP (r = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.04-0.20). Body weight was the variable that best correlated with systolic (r = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.43-0.55) and diastolic BP, and with Na excretion (r = 0.48, 95% CI = 0.42-0.55). Multiple regression analysis also showed that body weight was the variable that best correlated with systolic BP (b = 0.58), although the variables in the equation explained little of the total variability in BP (26%). These correlations were significant at P < 0.05. In conclusion urinary electrolytes correlated poorly with BP in a sample of Spanish schoolchildren. Body weight was the only variable that showed a weak relationship with BP and Na excretion.

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