Archana Rajagopalan, Nisha Balaji
Department of Physiology, Saveetha Medical College, Saveetha University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Aim: Since a few studies exist on the association of neck circumference (NC) and obesity with blood pressure (BP) among adolescents in India, we found it highly relevant to measure the NC and body mass index (BMI) using them as indicators of upper body subcutaneous fat and obesity and relate them to BP in a rural and urban adolescent population in North Tamil Nadu. Materials and Methods: This is a community-based cross-sectional study of descriptive design where 500 students from urban and rural areas were selected, and their BMI, NC, and BP were measured using standardized instruments. Results: Among urban and rural population high and normal NC positively correlated with BMI, systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP), indicating that the data clearly reflects increase in BMI, SBP, and DBP values with increase in NC or vice versa. The correlation was statistically significant (P < 0.001) significantly higher BMI (P < 0.01), SBP (P < 0.05), and NC (P < 0.001) was observed in urban population than rural. DBP was not significantly different in rural and urban population. 95th percentile values are significantly higher than rest in both urban and rural population. Only the 95th percentile values correlate and reflect similar changes in BMI, SBP, and DBP. Conclusion: Our studies indicate a strong association of elevation in BP with high NC and increase in BMI. Overweight and obesity were positively correlated with increase in SBP and DBP.
Keywords: Blood pressure, hypertension, neck circumference, obesity, rural population, urban population.