Obesity raises the rate of high blood pressure among adolescents, yet the increase is particularly stark among Hispanics compared to white, African American, or Asian ethnic groups, according to a study by researchers at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Results were published in the journal Pediatrics.
While increasing BMI, a measure of obesity, was associated with increased risk for high blood pressure in all four examined ethnic groups, the prevalence of high blood pressure was almost six times higher among obese Hispanic adolescents compared to normal-weight Hispanics. Nearly 25% of the Hispanic adolescents in the study were obese.
“We believe we are the first to compare adolescent blood pressures to body mass index in these four major ethnic/racial groups,” said Joshua Samuels, MD, MPH, senior author, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McGovern Medical School and an attending pediatric nephrologist at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.