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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-11

Blood pressure changes among children living at high altitude in South-Western Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Physiology, King Khalid University, College of Medicine, Abha, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Science and Technology, Omdurman, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Humeda Suekit Humeda Mohammed Ahmed
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1858-5000.178491

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Objective: To determine the effect of high altitude on systemic blood pressure (BP) among children. Subjects and Methods: About 145 school children from high altitude and 155 from low altitude were included in this study. Measurements of normal BP, body weight and height, triceps skin fold, waist circumference, and hematocrit value were made. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated from body weight and height, and the percentage of fat mass (FMP) was calculated from triceps skin fold measurement. Results: There was no difference in the mean age for high altitude and low altitude groups (12.46 ± 1.56 12.41 ± 1.52, respectively). Body weight and height were significantly higher in high altitude children than their counterparts at low altitude. The mean BMI values were not significantly different between the two groups. Children living at high altitude had significant higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), hematocrit value, triceps skin fold, waist circumference, and FMP than those living at low altitude. There were positive significant correlations between SBP and DBP on one hand and body weight and height, BMI, FMP, waist circumference, triceps skinfold, and hematocrit values on the other hand. Conclusion: The significant difference in BP between the two groups was attributed to high body weight and height, body fat, and hematocrit value in the high altitude group.

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