Arterial hypertension begins in childhood and may continue, without intervention, throughout adulthood with severe health sequelae.The base of timely diagnosis is the systematic blood pressure (BP) measurement. Background: The study aims at revealing the level of parental and community awareness and testing the value of a simple measurement in uncovering children who need further assessment when performing an in-hospital BP screening. Methods: BP was measured in 600 children (0 - 17 yr, mean age 5.1 ± 4.3 yr) at a Children’s hospital. Parents were asked to fill in a specially structured questionnaire. Results: In 47.2% of the subjects (40.1% of them were Greeks and 60.6% foreigners), BP had never been checked before (p < 0.001). Measurements in 25.5% and 1.6% of the subjects indicated prehypertension and stage 1 hypertension, respectively. In 55.3% of these, arterial BP had never been checked before. Surprisingly, a health certificatewas issued for school purposes for 81.2% of the schoolchildren of this study, and75.3% of the enrolled children were allowed to participate in sports clubs without first checking BP. Moreover, parents demonstrated a low level of alertness with respect to paediatric hypertension. Conclusions: Simple arterial BP measurements can ensure early detection and thus early referral to specialists.
Cite this paper
Tsoumakas, K. , Giamaiou, K. , Tzavara, C. , Matziou, V. , Elefsiniotis, I. and Lagona, E. (2013) Testing the value of simple arterial blood pressure measurements in a Greek children’s hospital. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 3, 108-115. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2013.32021.
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