OJPed  Vol.3 No.2 , June 2013
Testing the value of simple arterial blood pressure measurements in a Greek children’s hospital
ABSTRACT

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 certificate was issued for school purposes for 81.2% of the schoolchildren of this study, and 75.3% 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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