P-wave dispersion: a possible warning sign of hypertension in children
Hypertension and obesity in adults have been linked to increased EKG P-wave dispersion; the association has been shown in relation to hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy and atrial enlargement. Though studies in children have linked P-wave dispersion to left ventricular hypertrophy, scant pediatric literature relates P-wave dispersion to hypertension and obesity. Assess the association of P-wave dispersion with blood pressure and nutritional status in a pediatric population. This
... ation. This cross-sectional study is part of the PROCDEC II project for pediatric hypertension diagnosis and control in Santa Clara, Cuba. Twelve-lead EKG and four blood pressure readings were conducted on a sample of 656 children aged 8-11 years. Blood pressure <90th percentile for age, sex and height was considered normal; 90th-95th percentile, prehypertension; and >95th percentile, hypertension. The main study variables were P-wave dispersion and systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure (MAP). Secondary variables were sex, height, weight, and body mass index. Comparisons of means, analysis of variance and linear correlations were done. Mean P-wave dispersion differed significantly (p ≤0.05) among normotensive (30.10 ms), prehypertensive (32.99 ms) and hypertensive children (39.14 ms), as did mean MAP (p <0.05). P-wave dispersion and MAP were significantly correlated in prehypertensive and hypertensive children. Most overweight and obese children with high P-wave dispersion were prehypertensive or hypertensive. Associations observed between P-wave dispersion and MAP in normotensive, prehypertensive and hypertensive children suggest potential for early detection of EKG patterns showing vulnerability. Given the relationship between increased P-wave dispersion and hypertension already described in adults, use of P-wave dispersion could be a simple, economical and noninvasive method of predicting risk of hypertensive cardiomyopathy in prehypertensive and hypertensive children; this in turn could guide timely, effective treatment and secondary prevention. Similar studies on a larger sample are needed to corroborate these results.