Elevated BMI Linked To Higher Blood Pressure In Healthy Teenagers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yaron Arbel, M.D.
Department of Cardiology
Tel Aviv Medical Center

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Arbel: We examined 715,000 Israeli adolescents, both male and female, aged 16-20, who had received medical exams from 1998-2011 before enlisting in the army. They were all healthy with no known background medical conditions.

There was a statistically significant link observed between BMI and blood pressure, both of which saw significant annual increases during the study. The percentage of overweight adolescents increased from 13.2% in 1998 to 21% in 2011, while the percentage of adolescents with high blood pressure (SBP > 130mmHg) rose from 7% to 28% in males and 2% to 12% in females.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Arbel: The association of BMI to blood pressure was more pronounced in females than males. The reason is not clear.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Arbel: We think that more efforts should be put in to addressing childhood obesity. “Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. They are much more likely to be obese as adults and are consequently more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, numerous types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.”

Future studies should focus on treating modalities and increased awareness.


Yaron Arbel et al. Trends in Adolescents Obesity and the Association between BMI and Blood Pressure: A Cross-Sectional Study in 714,922 Healthy Teenagers. American Journal of Hypertension, March 2015 DOI: 10.1093/ajh/hpv007


MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yaron Arbel, M.D., Department of Cardiology, Tel Aviv Medical Center (2015). Elevated BMI Linked To Higher Blood Pressure In Healthy Teenagers 

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Last Updated on March 4, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD