Link between adolescent obesity and high blood pressure

4 March 2015

A new study has shown there is a strong link between obesity in adolescence and high blood pressure.

The research, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, found that body mass index (BMI) in healthy adolescents has a statistically significant association with both systolic blood pressures (SBP) and diastolic blood pressures (DBP). These findings highlight the need to tackle the global trend of increasing adolescent obesity.

Led by Dr Yaron Arbel, from the Department of Cardiology at Tel Aviv Medical Center, Israel, the study looked at 715,000 men and women between the ages of 16 and 20 who had received medical exams from 1998-2011.

The team found a statistically significant link between BMI and blood pressure, and both experienced significant annual increases during the study period. The number of overweight adolescents increased from 13.2 per cent to more than a fifth in 2011 (21 per cent), while the percentage of participants with high blood pressure rose from seven per cent to 28 per cent in males and from two per cent to 12 per cent in women.

Dr Arbel said: "This highlights the importance of BMI as a marker for cardiovascular health in all body types."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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