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Pediatr Nephrol. 2004 Sep;19(9):1014-20. Epub 2004 Jun 4.

Hypopnea in pediatric patients with obesity hypertension.

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Department of Pediatrics, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.


Obesity is associated with the development of hypertension but it is still not clear why hypertension is not observed in all obese patients. Obesity is a risk factor for the development of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in children. OSAS has been linked to the development of hypertension in adults and children. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that OSAS is one of the reasons that some obese children are hypertensive and some are not. The overnight polysomnography records of 90 patients (aged 4.2-18.8 years) were reviewed. BMI(score) [body mass index (BMI)/95th percentile BMI for age, sex, and race] was used to express the degree of obesity. The severity of systolic hypertension and diastolic hypertension were expressed as SBP(score) (systolic BP/the 95th percentile systolic BP for age, sex, and height) and DBP(score) (diastolic BP/the 95th percentile diastolic BP for age, sex, and height), respectively. OSAS was defined as more than one episodes of apnea per hour (AI) or an O(2) saturation associated with obstructive apnea of less than 90%. There were 56 obese patients; 42 were hypertensive and 40 patients were diagnosed with OSAS. The incidence of hypertension (68% vs. 30%) and obesity (75% vs. 52%) was higher in OSAS patients than those without OSAS. Compared with the non-obese patients, obese patients had a higher incidence of hypertension or OSAS, a higher BMI(score), SBP(score), DBP(score), AI, hypopnea index (HI), and apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). In obese patients, both SBP(score) and DBP(score) correlated positively with BMI(score), arousal index, and HI. DBP(score) also correlated positively with AHI. Multiple regression analysis showed that HI and BMI(score) were significant independent predictors of SBP(score) or DBP(score). Obese and hypertensive patients had a higher HI, AHI, and incidence of OSAS (64% vs. 29%) than the obese and normotensive patients. In conclusion, HI had a significant correlation with the degree of hypertension in obese patients, which could not be attributed to the degree of obesity. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that OSAS is one of the reasons why some obese children are hypertensive and some are not.

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