Relative influence of body mass index and socioeconomic class on blood pressure levels and health
Introduction. Blood pressure (BP) is a complex entity which is influenced by many factors. The impact of socioeconomic class and body mass index (BMI) on hypertension has been reported in the past but literature on their influence on blood pressure
in healthy adolescents is very limited.
Aim. The aim of the study is to assess the influence of BMI and socioeconomic status on BP in healthy adolescents.
Material and methods. This cross sectional study includes three hundred healthy adolescents. Anthropometric and BP measurements were done. BMI categories were derived using WHO Asia Pacific guidelines. An updated
Kuppuswami scale was used for determining socioeconomic status. Multiple regression analysis and analysis of variance was used to study impact of socioeconomic and BMI classes on BP.
Results. Obese subjects of upper socioeconomic class have higher blood pressure values. Strong significant differences in the mean values of systolic blood pressure (f-23.569; p<0.00001), diastolic blood pressure (f-22.470; p<0.00001) and mean arterial
pressure (f-27.454; <0.00001) were observed in different BMI classes. Except for diastolic blood pressure (f-2.713; p <0.030) rest of BP indices did not differ significantly in different SES classes.
Conclusion. Obese subjects of upper socioeconomic class are prone for development of future hypertension. High BMI is significant risk factor for high BP, however socioeconomic class of the subject should also be considered as predisposing factor for high BP.