Body mass index, blood pressure and electrocardiogram for screening in healthy children at Pilar City, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012

Hernán Cohen-Arazi, Hernán Krimer, Marcia Valdizán, Diego Enriquez


Introduction: obesity is frequent in argentinian children and arterial hypertension affects 2.4% of scholars. Objective: the objectives
of the present study are to evaluate the prevalence of obesity and hypertension and their association, and to analyze the ability of
electrocardiograms to detect conditions in healthy children and adolescents who attended to request a medical certificate of fitness.
Methods: 1030 children (47.9% females and 52.1% males) ranging from 1 to 18 years old who concurred for a check up between Janury and
March 2012, were consecutively included. Their body mass index, blood pressure, weight, height, and electrocardiogram findings were
calculated and evaluated by a pediatrician and a cardiologist. Results: obesity was detected in 12.1% of males and 9.9% of females, and
malnutrition was found in 1.9% and 1.4, respectively. Overweight was more frequent in males, consistent across all age groups. Systolic
hypertension (adjusted to the 95th height percentile) was observed in 8.8% males and 8.6% females, more prevalent in children ranging
from 4 to 11 years old. A significant association between hypertension and high body mass index was observed. The ECG assessments
resulted in six patients with pauses, one patient with asymptomatic Wenchebach AV block, three patients with asymptomatic sinus arrest,
and one patient with ventricular bigeminy. Five cases of Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome were diagnosed, and 2.7% children had long QTc
segments. Conclusions: a high prevalence of hypertension was found, which was more frequent in obese children. The electrocardiogram
analysis resulted in patients with potentially high risk conditions. MÉD.UIS. 2016;29(3):49-53.

Keywords: Risk. Cardiovascular System. Hypertension. Obesity. Body Mass Index. Electrocardiography.

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