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Youth obesity linked with high blood pressure

London: As the number of overweight adolescents go up, so does the number of youth with high blood pressure, a study shows.

Body mass index (BMI) in adolescents has a statistically significant association with both systolic blood pressures (SBP) and diastolic blood pressures (DBP), the findings showed.

Childhood obesity
Representational picture

"An important finding in our analysis is that BMI was positively associated with SBP and DBP in both the normal weight and overweight groups," said lead researcher Yaron Arbel from the Tel Aviv Medical Center, Israel.

"This highlights the importance of BMI as a marker for cardiovascular health in all body types," Arbel noted.

The study examined 715,000 Israeli adolescents, both male and female, aged 16-20, who had received medical examinations from 1998-2011.

The researchers observed significant link between BMI and blood pressure, both of which saw significant annual increases during the study.

The percentage of overweight adolescents increased from 13.2 percent in 1998 to 21 percent in 2011, while the percentage of adolescents with high blood pressure rose from seven percent to 28 percent in males and two percent to 12 percent in females.

The association of BMI to blood pressure was more pronounced in females than males. While the reason for this is not immediately clear, researchers hypothesised that it may be attributable to certain hormonal factors.

The study appeared in the American Journal of Hypertension.

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