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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1281-1293
Blood pressure standards for pre-school children in Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, King Saud University, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Biostatistics, Prince Naif Health Research Center, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 King Saud Medical City, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
4 Al Yamamah Hospital, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
5 Pediatric Department, Al Habib Medical Group, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Abdullah A Al Salloum
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, King Saud University, King Saud University Medical City, P. O. Box: 2925, Riyadh 11461
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1319-2442.308337

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The prevalence of hypertension (HTN) in children is increasing. Early detection of HTN in childhood may prevent the occurrence of complications in adult age. Blood pressure (BP) varies between populations according to ethnic and environmental factors. Based on these variations, reference norms developed for one particular population may not be applicable to others. Thus, this study aimed to provide age-, gender-, and height-related BP reference standards using oscillometric techniques for pre-school children in Saudi Arabia. A sub-sample of preschool children aged from 2 to 6 years was selected by multi-stage probability sampling of Saudi population. The samples represented Saudi children from the whole country. Data were collected through a house-to-house survey of all selected households in all 13 regions in the country. Oscillometric devices were used to measure the BP. Data were analyzed to study the distribution pattern of systolic (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) and to develop reference values based on age, gender, and height. The values for each age and height percentile were compared with the recent (2017) values of the North American children. A total of 2553 Saudi Arabian children (1299 boys and 1254 girls) aged 2–6 years with complete data on age, gender, height, SBP, and DBP were considered for analysis. Values for SBP and DBP were significantly higher in Saudi children than in the North American children. This study adds evidence to the BP variations between populations with influences such as genetic and environmental factors. The need of every population to define its normal BP standards is essential to avoid unnecessary investigations and anxiety in patients and their parents.


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