215720 Urban adolescent gender differences in risk of hypertension and overweight/obesity

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Deborah Morton, PhD, MA , Dept of Family & Preventive Medicine, Division of Epidemiology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Dorothy Zirkle, PhD , Director of Health, Price Charities, San Diego, CA
Tim Allen, MA , San Diego Unified School District, San Diego State University, City Heights Educational Collaborative, Executive Director, San Diego, CA
Objectives. School district Wellness Programs mandate screening of body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, yet data are not systematically analyzed. We examined school based health clinic data to determine risk of hypertension in 9th graders by BMI status. Methods. Health data (2008-2009) were extracted from one school-based health clinic (n=1,122) in an urban, low-income, multi-ethnic high school. Logistic regression estimated adjusted odds ratios. Results. Mutually exclusive overweight (85th-95th percentile) prevalence was 20.6%, and obesity (>95th percentile) was 25.2%. Overall hypertension prevalence was 29.4% for systolic, 10.0% for diastolic, 5.5% for both, and significantly higher in boys than girls (p < 0.05). Odds ratios for systolic or diastolic hypertension were not significant in overweight boys or girls after adjustment for age and ethnicity. However, odds ratios for systolic, diastolic, or presence of both types of hypertension were highly significant for both obese boys and girls, ranging from 3.8 to 7.2 after adjustment. Boys were more likely to have higher risk for systolic hypertension, and girls were more likely have higher risk of diastolic or the presence of both types of hypertension. Conclusions. While it is well-known obesity increases the risk of hypertension, these data illustrate significant risk at a very early age. The onset of hypertension in youth may contribute to an accelerated course of cardiovascular disease and target-organ damage in young adulthood. School districts should begin to use data from their Wellness Initiatives to better inform their health education/literacy curriculum and to design more targeted interventions for adolescents.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the measurement of hypertension and the association of hypertension and body mass index in adolescents. 2.Identify the magnitude of hypertersion in an urban adolescent group and delineate the long-term health consequences of early onset of hypertension. 3.Discuss the problem of school district mandated health data collection and no analysis or use of results.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a chronic disease epidemiologist and work with school district data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.