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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

SEARCH reveals high rate of hypertension in urban Aboriginal children

Date posted: 3 July 2017

More than one in six urban Aboriginal children have elevated blood pressure, and a further 12% have prehypertension, the SEARCH study has shown, with researchers suggesting family and community-based interventions may be the best way to tackle the problem.

The researchers, working as part of the major research partnership – the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health – analysed blood pressure measurements, along with other data about 657 urban Aboriginal children aged 2−17 years and their carers.

The study findings, published in the Journal of Hypertension, showed that overall, 15.6% of the children studied had systolic and/or diastolic hypertension. An additional 12.3% had prehypertension.

The researchers said the figures compared with international data that estimated the prevalence of hypertension in children to be 3−5%, and prehypertension 15−25%.

The finding that blood pressure (BP) was frequently elevated in urban Aboriginal children was significant, because blood pressure in children was known to track into adulthood, and blood pressure in the high−normal range was associated with cardiovascular events in adults, they said.

'Given the high rates of premature cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal people, these data highlight the need to employ appropriate cardiovascular preventive measures and to monitor absolute cardiovascular risk carefully in Aboriginal people, with BP-lowering treatment as necessary,' they wrote.

Source: Sax Institute


Last updated: 17 July 2017
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