A cross-sectional study on the relationship between the risk of hypertension and obesity status among pre-adolescent girls from rural areas of Southeastern region of the United States
Abstract This study investigated early indications of hypertension risk and the association of overweight and obesity in young girls from a low socioeconomic region of the rural South. 139 females (M age = 8.85 ± 1.67 years) from a rural school in the Southeastern region of the United States served as participants. Body mass index was calculated based on the child's height and weight measurements (kg/m2) and resting blood pressure measurements were taken with calibrated, automatic oscillations devices. Girls who were overweight or obese were 2.81 times more likely to have a systolic blood pressure indicative of being at-risk/hypertensive (i.e., pre-hypertension and/or hypertension stage 1) than girls who were not overweight/obese. In fact, the percentage of overweight/obese girls who were at-risk/hypertensive was double that of girls who were not overweight/obese (43.2% versus 21.3%), respectively. Being overweight or obese is associated with almost three times a higher risk of hypertension than girls who are not overweight or obese.