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Keywords:

  • Blood pressure;
  • Children;
  • Greece;
  • Homocysteine;
  • Obesity

Abstract

Aim: Obesity, hypertension and total serum homocysteine levels are well-known risk factors for cardiovascular disease in adults. However, there is limited data on the relation of these risk factors in children.

Methods: Five hundred twenty-four healthy school children aged 6–15 years participated in the study. BMI were used to categorize our subjects in normal overweight and obese groups based on Internationally Obesity Task Force criteria.

Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 21.1% and 8.4% for boys and 17.6% and 7.3% for girls, respectively. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and waist circumference (WC) were significantly higher in overweight and obese group compared to normal ones, whereas for homocysteine levels no difference was observed. Based on the results derived from the multiple regression analysis, BMI was positively related to energy intake (beta = 0.247, p < 0.001) and WC (beta = 0.014, p < 0.001). Both SBP and DBP were positively related to age ([beta = 0.251, p < 0.001] and [beta = 0.301, p < 0.001, respectively]), and BMI ([beta = 0.096, p < 0.001] and [beta = 0.022, p < 0.001], respectively).

Conclusion: The current study revealed an association of blood pressure and WC with overweight and obesity in children, and even though these children may not have increased homocysteine levels, they still have enough reasons to reduce weight in order to avoid cardiovascular disease in their life later on.