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Blood pressure and BMI in adolescents in Aracaju, Brazil


To assess the prevalence of high blood pressure (BP) and the association of overweight and obesity with high BP among adolescents in Aracaju, Brazil.


Cross-sectional study. The main outcome measure was the proportion of adolescents with high BP (sex-, age- and height-specific ≥95th percentile). The main predictor variables were overweight and obesity defined according to the criteria of the International Obesity Task Force. Other covariates included age, socio-economic status and leisure-time physical activity.


Aracaju, Brazil, capital city of Sergipe State, north-eastern Brazil.


A random sample of 1002 adolescents (442 boys and 560 girls) aged 12–17 years selected from twenty public schools and ten private schools were studied.


The prevalence of high BP was 16·9 % (95 % CI 13·1, 21·7) in boys and 12·9 % (95 % CI 9·0, 18·0) in girls. After adjusting for age, socio-economic status and leisure-time physical activity in both boys and girls, overweight (prevalence ratio (PR) = 1·93, 95 % CI 1·08, 3·48; PR = 4·34, 95 % CI 2·58, 7·30, respectively) and obesity (PR = 4·87, 95 % CI 2·35, 10·11; PR = 5·18, 95 % CI 2·67, 10·06, respectively) were found to be associated with high BP.


These findings indicate a high prevalence of high BP in both boys and girls in Aracaju, Brazil. Overweight and obesity were strongly associated with high BP. These findings underscore the urgent need for public health measures to prevent increasing high BP in adolescents in Brazil. Targeting intervention in adolescence may be a critical method for preventing high BP in later life.

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