the objective of the study was to evaluate some risk factors for increases in systemic arterial blood pressure. this transversal study was carried out with 145 individuals from 12 to18 years of age at two state schools in the city of pico in the state of piauí in brazil. the majority were female (62.8%). the median age was 14.8 years (±3.19). it was ascertained that 13 of the subjects (9.0%) were overweight [ci% 73.0-86.0]. elevations in waist circumference were found in 31 (21.4%) and 76 (52.4%) had elevated arterial blood levels. there was no statistically-significant association between the above-cited risk factors and gender (p=0.088; 0.999; 0.204, respectively). however, 44.8% of the adolescents had at least one risk factor associated with arterial hypertension; 15.9% had two, and 2.1% had three. the study confirms the influence of the risk factors on arterial pressure values among adolescents. being aware of these factors means that nurses can intervene with health education measures.