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13-07-2010 | Respiratory | Article

High blood pressure not linked to asthma in teens


Free abstract

MedWire News: Adolescents with asthma are not at increased risk for high blood pressure, research suggests.

Writing in the Journal of Asthma, Charles Agyemang (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and team explain: "Asthma has been linked to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and related risk factors such as hypertension in adults."

But it is not known whether there is a relationship between asthma and hypertension in adolescents, they add.

To investigate, the researchers studied 1002 adolescents, aged 12-17 years, from 15 public, 10 private, and five municipal schools in Aracaju, Brazil.

All the children underwent blood pressure assessments and completed the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire.

Gender-, age-, and height-specific percentiles were used to define prehypertension (90-94th percentile) and hypertension (95th percentile or higher).

Overall, 20.6% of boys and 27.7% of girls had asthma.

Prehypertension was present in 26.7% of boys and 14.3% of girls, and hypertension was present in 17.0% and 12.9%, respectively.

After accounting for age, socioeconomic status, physical activity, and body mass index, the researchers found that asthma was not significantly associated with prehypertension in boys or girls, at odds ratios (ORs) of 1.35 and 0.71, respectively. Nor was asthma related to hypertension in either gender, at respective ORs of 0.60 and 1.07.

Agyemang and team conclude: "These results suggest no association between asthma and high blood pressure in adolescents."

They add: "More prospective studies are needed to establish whether hypertension becomes more pronounced at a specific age in asthmatics, and if so, the possible factors that may contribute to this."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Mark Cowen

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