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Blood Pressure In Children on the Rise

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NEW ORLEANS, May 05, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Tulane University study in New Orleans suggests blood pressure in children increased during the past decade, partially due to more overweight children.

An earlier study reported the number of overweight children increased from 11.3 percent to 15.5 percent of adolescent boys and 9.7 percent to 15.5 percent of adolescent girls between 1988-1994 and 1999-2000.

Paul Muntner of Tulane University and his colleagues examined data from two studies that used national representative samples of children aged 8 to 17 years. Their findings appear in the current issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers found systolic blood pressure levels increased an average of 1.4 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure levels increased 3.3 mm Hg.

"The increase in body mass index during this same period accounted for some of the increase in blood pressure. Given the relationship between BMI and blood pressure and the high and unabated increase in the prevalence of overweight in the United States, the incidence of hypertension is likely to increase," the researchers said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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