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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 629492, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/629492
Research Article

High Rate of Obesity-Associated Hypertension among Primary Schoolchildren in Sudan

1Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine, P.O. Box 800386, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA
2Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

Received 14 October 2010; Accepted 1 December 2010

Academic Editor: Kazuko Masuo

Copyright © 2011 Zeena Salman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) frequently has roots in childhood, including following childhood-onset hypertension. Incidence of CVD has increased in developing countries in East Africa during recent urbanization. Effects of these shifts on childhood hypertension are unclear. Our objectives were to (1) Determine the prevalence of hypertension among primary schoolchildren in Khartoum, Sudan; (2) Determine whether hypertension in this setting is associated with obesity. We performed a cross sectional study of 6-12y children from two schools randomly selected in Khartoum, Sudan. Height, weight, BMI, BP and family history of hypertension were assessed. Age-, height- and gender-specific BP curves were used to determine pre-hypertension (90–95%) and hypertension (>95%). Of 304 children, 45 (14.8%) were overweight; 32 (10.5%) were obese; 15 (4.9%) were pre-hypertensive and 15 (4.9%) were hypertensive. Obesity but not family history of hypertension was associated with current hypertension. In multiple logistic regression, adjusting for family history, children who were obese had a relative-risk of 14.7 (CI 2.45-88.2) for systolic hypertension compared to normal-weight children. We conclude that overweight and obesity are highly prevalent among primary schoolchildren in urban Sudan and are strongly associated with hypertension. That obesity-associated cardiovascular sequelae exist in the developing world at young ages may be a harbinger of future CVD in sub-Saharan Africa.