Background : Early diagnosis of hypertension (HT) is an important strategy in its control. Previous studies have documented that hypertension may begin in adolescence, perhaps even in childhood. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of hypertension and risk factors among school going children in Surat city, south Gujarat, India. Materials and Methods : School going children aged between 6 to 18 years, of two schools were selected by purposive sampling method and blood pressure measurements were taken by mercury sphygmomanometer as per recommendation of American heart association. Hypertension is considered when blood pressure is more than 95 th percentile according to update on task force report (2004) and children having hypertension in first and second recording repeat measurement was done to confirm hypertension after a week. Results : Total prevalence of hypertension in our study was 6.48%. Hypertension in males was 6.74% (<10 yrs 5.88%, 10-13yrs 6.04%, >13yrs 9.19%) and in females was 6.13% (<10yrs 0.62%, 10-13yrs 8.67%,.13yrs 8.48%). Prevalence of obesity in hypertension was 8.7% against normotensive 1.1% (P <0.05). Prevalence of hypertension in family members of hypertensive was 18.6% and in normotensive 13.1% (P =0.1). Prevalence of diabetes mellitus in family members of hypertensive was 23.4% and 13.7% in normotensive (P<0.05); while prevalence of ischemic heart disease in family members was 12.34% in hypertensive and 8.3% in normotensive (P <0.05). Conclusion : Prevalence of hypertension was 6.48% in the study subjects. We identified obesity, family history of diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease was found to be significant association for childhood hypertension.
Key words: Children, hypertension, India, risk factors.