Incident hypertension among pre-hypertensive adolescents: Evaluation of pre-hypertension as an independent risk factor among secondary school students in the Houston area
Cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death in the United States for over fifty years. While multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease have been identified, hypertension is one of the most commonly recognized and treatable. Recent studies indicate that the prevalence of hypertension among children and adolescents is between 3-5%, much higher than originally estimated and likely rising due to the epidemic of obesity in the U.S. In 2004, the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents published new guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension in this population. Included in these recommendations was the creation of a new diagnosis, pre-hypertension, aimed at identifying children at-risk for hypertension to provide early lifestyle interventions in an effort to prevent its ultimate development. In order to determine the risk associated with pre-hypertension for the development of incident HTN, a secondary analysis of a repeated cross-sectional study measuring blood pressure in Houston area adolescents from 2000 to 2007 was performed. Of 1006 students participating in the blood pressure screening on more than one occasion not diagnosed with hypertension at initial encounter, eleven were later found to have hypertension providing an overall incident rate of 0.5% per year. Incidence rates were higher among overweight adolescents–1.9% per year [IRR 8.6 (1.97, 51.63)]; students “at-risk for hypertension” (pre-hypertensive or initial blood pressure in the hypertensive range but falling on subsequent measures)–1.4% per year [IRR 4.77 (1.21, 19.78)]; and those with blood pressure ≥90th percentile on three occasions–6.6% per year [IRR 21.87 (3.40, 112.40)]. Students with pre-hypertension as currently defined by the Task Force did have an increased rate of hypertension (1.1% per year) but it did not reach statistical significance [IRR 2.44 (0.42, 10.18)]. Further research is needed to determine the morbidity and mortality associated with pre-hypertension in this age group as well as the effectiveness of various interventions for preventing the development of hypertensive disease among these at-risk individuals.
McNiece, Karen L, "Incident hypertension among pre-hypertensive adolescents: Evaluation of pre-hypertension as an independent risk factor among secondary school students in the Houston area" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1452202.