World Kidney Day (WKD) was promoted by the Italian Kidney Foundation and the Italian Society of Nephrology for raising awareness, detection, prevention, and treatment of kidney diseases. The Italian WKD focused on the “School Project” by screening students attending the fifth year of high school. The main goal of the “School Project” was to assess in healthy adolescents the presence of hypertension (HTN) and proteinuria; as well as to evaluate potential interrelations between overweight, obesity (both measured with different anthropometric methods), blood pressure (BP) levels, and proteinuria. The ancillary goal was to have an estimate of awareness on some nephrology topics.
The study population consisted of 17- to 19-year-old students. HTN was defined as systolic BP (SBP) ≥140 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP (DBP) ≥90 mm Hg. Isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) was defined as SBP ≥140 mm Hg and DBP <90 mm Hg; isolated diastolic hypertension as SBP <140 mm Hg and DBP ≥90 mm Hg; systolic and diastolic hypertension as SBP ≥140 mm Hg and DBP ≥90 mm Hg; pre-hypertension as SBP >120 mm Hg but <140 mm Hg or DBP >80 mm Hg but <90 mm Hg; and optimal BP as SBP ≤120 mm Hg and DBP ≤80 mm Hg. Urine tests were performed with a dipstick; the subjects were regarded as proteinuric when the urine dipstick was positive (proteinuria ≥30 mg/dL). Body weight, height, and waist circumference (WC) were measured; body mass index (BMI), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and conicity index (Ci) were calculated. According to the BMI, the following classifications were adopted: underweight (<18.5 kg/m2), normal weight (18.5-24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2), class-I obesity (30-34.9 kg/m2), class-II obesity (35-39.9 kg/m2), class-III obesity (≥40 kg/m2).
Data from 12,125 students (45.6% males) were evaluated. HTN was found in 1,349 participants (11.1%; 61.1% male), and ISH was present in 7.4%. Overweight (24.1%) and class-I (6%), -II (3.6%), and -III (1%) obesity were present in hypertensive participants. Compared to participants with normal BP, hypertensive participants had a higher BMI (p < 0.001), WC (p < 0.001), and WHtR (p < 0.001); whereas the Ci was not different (p = 0.527). Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that both WC and BMI were predictors of abnormal SBP and DBP (p < 0.001) both in males and females. Proteinuria was present in 14.8, 13.8, 14.7, and 14.7% of all normal weight, overweight, obese, and all subjects, respectively. In addition, no association was found between body weight, proteinuria, and BP.
This study shows that overweight and obesity were significantly associated to HTN in Italian adolescents. BMI and WC were predictors of SBP and DBP. The occurrence of proteinuria was quite similar to that of HTN, but it was not associated with anthropometric indicators or HTN.

© 2020 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.