Systematic review and meta-analysis: Prevalence of hypertension among adolescents in the Arab countries

Published:March 16, 2022DOI:


      • The prevalence of HTN across the Arab world is around 12.6%.
      • The prevalene is almost four times more in high income countries, such as Saudi Arabia compared to Middle-income countries as Egypt and Tunisia.
      • Prevalence was higher among studies based on adolescents with high BMI, compared to those with normal weight.



      Hypertension (HTN) is one of the non-communicable diseases which prevalence is rising in both developed and developing countries. There is a scarcity of data on the prevalence of HTN in Arab countries. This review outlines what is currently known about prevalence and risk factors of HTN in adolescence in Arab world.

      Eligibility criteria

      A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted using PubMed, Cochrane Library, Scopus, CINAHL, Science Direct, and Google Scholar databases from 2011 to 2021.


      Fourteen studies from 9 Arab countries met inclusion criteria. Studies included a total of 777 adolescents with HTN and 2147 adolescents with pre-HTN.


      The overall prevalence of HTN among adolescents in the Arab World was estimated at 12.6% (95CI 0.083–0.176), while pre-HTN was 13.9% (95CI 0.084–0205). Overweight and obesity resemble the higher risk of developing hypertension. Family history, high consumption of salt, smoking and low physical activity also increase the risk of HTN. The development of adolescent HTN can be predicted through anthropometric measurements such as Body Mass Index (BMI), wrist circumferences, and high waist circumference.


      The prevalence of HTN among adolescents in the Arab world was significant, ranging from 4 to 26%. The heterogeneity between studies was high.


      Local governments and policymakers must consider strengthening regulations to address environmental risk factors and improve public awareness about risk factors to HTN. A combined use of nurse- and patient targeted educational interventions could also help in reducing the burden of HTN in this population.


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