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J Family Community Med. 2019 Sep-Dec;26(3):193-198. doi: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_12_19.

High blood pressure in children attending pediatric clinic at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Community and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine (for Girls), AlAzhar University, Cairo, Egypt.
Medical Intern, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.



High blood pressure (BP) is an important health issue on a global level. It is one of the major factors for mortality in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, high BP is considered a significant risk for heart disease responsible for 30% of all deaths all over the world. The aim of this research was to determine the prevalence of hypertension in children attending the pediatric clinics and determine the common risk factors associated with high BP.


It was a cross-sectional study conducted among 6-15 year aged children attending the pediatric clinic at King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Jeddah; children were selected using sytematic random sampling technique. Data was collected by interviewing the parents using a structured questionnaire. SPSS was used for data entry and analysis. Computed frequency and percentages for categorical variables, and mean and standard deviations for continuous variables. Chi-square test and correlation used to determine associations, and logistic regression performed to determine factors associated with blood pressure >= 95th percentile.


The prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension was 14.4% and 6.5%, respectively, in males, whereas, in females, it was 16.3% and 5.2%, respectively. A high prevalence observed for the 6-10 years age group as compared with the 11-15 year age group, and the difference was statistically significant (P = 0.001). A high prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension in overweight and obese group was noticed. A significant positive correlation between systolic BP and weight, height, and BMI was demonstrated. The common risk factors for hypertension in this study were the age range of 6-10 years, (odds ratio OR = 2.44), overweight and obese children (OR = 2.44), children with family history of hypertension (OR = 1.39), and children with low birth weight (OR = 1.05).


These factors are considered risk factors for such a chronic disease as cardiovascular disease. Consequently, continuous BP monitoring and early identification of high BP in children are some of the greatest strategies for the prevention of chronic diseases in adulthood.


Children; high blood pressure; hypertension; prehypertension

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