Arterial hypertension in children and adolescents in Qatar. Precision in diagnosis is a necessity.

qatar

This is an excerpt of a scientific paper of my authorship I sent to Qatar Medical Journal for publication. References are not shown as the paper is on the approval process.

Where does Qatar stand approaching the issue of hypertension in children and adolescents?

The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study’s profile of health status in Qatar found that non-communicable diseases, where HTN is included, are a significant cause of health issues in Qatar.

According to the revised literature the prevalence of HTN in children and adolescents in Qatar ranges from 10.5 % and can reach up to 45 % when accompanied by obesity  In the same geographic area, a large Iran-based CASPIAN-5 study has reported similar a prevalence of HTN of 11,5 %. Other countries in the Middle East do not differ on the average from these statistics.

Furthermore, a recent systematic review with meta-analysis pooling BP data from 122,053 adolescents in 55 studies, stated a prevalence of HTN of 11.2%.

All the studies carried out on children and adolescents stress the negative impact of the classic cardiovascular risk factors usually accompanying HTN as obesity, overweight and metabolic syndrome, a condition with a rapid growth and life-threatening consequences on the long term in the region

The aforementioned do not come as a surprise in Qatar since with the discovery of oil in the 70s there has been a substantial social and economic improvement in the country which has had pros and sadly cons as well. The economic rise-related downside has been principally reflected on the life style of children and adolescence which have experienced a large transition in regard with their eating habits, which are now very similar to Western countries where fast food has gained many followers among those in these groups of ages.

Hence, the incidence of cardiovascular risk factors in on the rise, where overweight, obesity and diabetes mellitus, among others, are quite prevalent with their well know deleterious consequences throughout life. In addition, scarce knowledge about food choices, lack of physical activity and common socialization-related eating , in our opinion, are playing a key role in perpetuating the prevalence of HTN at early stages of life (childhood and adolescence) in the country as well.

If this paper is published, we will post the complete publication on this blog.

Thanks.

Note. This editorial has been written by Dr. Guillermo Alberto Perez Fernandez, author of this blog, and reflects his personal opinion about the topic.

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