Prevalence of Hypertension in 9- to 10-Year-Old Icelandic School Children


  • Sandra D. Steinthorsdottir and Sigridur B. Eliasdottir contributed equally to this work.

Vidar O. Edvardsson, MD, Children’s Medical Center, Landspitali–The National University Hospital of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland


J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011;13:774–779. ©2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

The purpose of the study was to investigate blood pressure (BP) distribution, prevalence of hypertension, and correlation between BP and body mass index (BMI) in 9- to 10-year-old Icelandic children. Two manual and two automated BP measurements were performed in 1071 Icelandic children. Children with elevated BP underwent a second BP screening, and a third screening was performed if the BP was elevated at the second visit. Hypertension was defined as BP ≥95th percentile at all three visits. White-coat hypertension was diagnosed in hypertensive children with normal 24-hour ambulatory BP. Of 970 children with complete data, 489 were girls (50.4%). The mean BP was 111/63 mm Hg in girls and 112/64 mm Hg in boys (P<.001). The prevalence of elevated BP was 13.1%, 6.0%, and 3.1% after the first, second, and third screen, respectively. The prevalence of sustained hypertension was 2.5% and an additional 0.6% had white-coat hypertension. A significant correlation between BMI and BP was observed (r=0.338, P<.001) and 8.6% of the obese children had hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension in 9- to 10-year-old Icelandic children is lower than indicated in recent reports and is associated with obesity.