Has Blood Pressure Increased in Children in Response to the Obesity Epidemic?

Community Prevention Unit, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Lausanne, 17 Rue du Bugnon, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 04/2007; 119(3):544-53. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2006-2136
Source: PubMed


The associations between elevated blood pressure and overweight, on one hand, and the increasing prevalence over time of pediatric overweight, on the other hand, suggest that the prevalence of elevated blood pressure could have increased in children over the last few decades. In this article we review the epidemiologic evidence available on the prevalence of elevated blood pressure in children and trends over time. On the basis of the few large population-based surveys available, the prevalence of elevated blood pressure is fairly high in several populations, whereas there is little direct evidence that blood pressure has increased during the past few decades despite the concomitant epidemic of pediatric overweight. However, a definite conclusion cannot be drawn yet because of the paucity of epidemiologic studies that have assessed blood pressure trends in the same populations and the lack of standardized methods used for the measurement of blood pressure and the definition of elevated blood pressure in children. Additional studies should examine if favorable secular trends in other determinants of blood pressure (eg, dietary factors, birth weight, etc) may have attenuated the apparently limited impact of the epidemic of overweight on blood pressure in children.

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    • "For example, studies from USA showed a prevalence of pre-HTN (9.5%) and HTN (9.5%) [26]. Comparable results from Switzerland showed a prevalence of 13.3% pre-HTN and 11.4% HTN [19]. Our findings from a single visit “screening” are somewhat higher than found in both the US and Swiss studies. "
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the prevalence of high blood pressure (BP) and its relationship with obesity among children and adolescents. In this cross-sectional population (Emirati) representative study, we invited a random sample of 1600 students (grades 1-12) attending 23 out of all 246 schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. But analysis was restricted to Emirati nationals aged 6-17 years. We measured BP, height, weight, waist circumferences (WC), and calculated body mass index (BMI) by standard methods. BP levels ≥90(th) percentile but <95(th) percentile and ≥ 95(th) for age, sex, and height (CDC percentiles) were classified as pre-hypertension (pre-HTN) and hypertension (HTN), respectively. Associations between BP, age, BMI, WC, and sex, were investigated by (multiple) linear regression methods. A total of 999 (47% girls) students provided complete results. The prevalence of pre-HTN was 10.5% and 11.4% and the prevalence of HTN was 15.4% and 17.8% among boys and girls, respectively. The prevalence of systolic/diastolic HTN was 14.4%/2.5% and 14.8/7.4% among boys and girls, respectively. BMI CDC percentile was positively correlated with WC percentile (r = 0.734, p<0.01), and both systolic (r = 0.34, p<0.001) and diastolic (r = 0.21, p<0.001) standardized BP. WC percentile was less strongly correlated with standardized SBP (r = 0.255, p<0.01) and DBP (r = 0.175, p<0.01) than BMI. The prevalence of elevated BP, notably systolic was significantly high among the Emirati children and adolescents in Abu Dhabi. High BP was strongly related to body weight, and appears more strongly associated with BMI than WC. Further studies are required to investigate the impact of childhood obesity on HTN.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85129. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085129 · 3.23 Impact Factor
    • "Epidemiological studies have linked childhood hypertension to various adiposity indicators.[818192024252627282930313233] Some studies have shown that obesity defined as body mass index (BMI) of ≥95 percentile based on gender and age does not correlate well with body fat distribution as compared with waist circumference (WC) which is more accurate in predicting abdominal mass, thus correlating better with hypertension in children.[2434] "
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the relationship of blood pressure (BP) with adiposity indicators, dietary habits, physical activity, and sleep in school children in Malaysia. We aimed to study about the distribution of BP and its associated factors in primary school children. A survey was carried out on a random sample of 335 children in five primary schools. BP was measured with a mercury sphygmomanometer. Anthropometry was done by standard methods. Demographic information, dietary habits, physical activity, and duration of sleep were collected by interviews. World Health Organization classification based on body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) cut-offs were used to define overweight/obesity. Elevated BP was defined according to US reference standards. A total 335 children (144 boys and 191 girls) were examined. Their mean age was 9.18 years (standard deviation [SD] = 0.28). Overall mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) and mean diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were 99.32 mmHg (SD = 10.79) and 67.11 mmHg (SD = 10.76), respectively. Mean BMI and WC were 16.39 (SD = 3.58) and 57.77 cm (SD = 8.98), respectively. The prevalence of pre-hypertension was 12.23% (95% confidence intervals [CIs] 8.73, 15.75) and hypertension was 13.4% (95% CIs 9.78, 17.09). Mean SBP and DBP was higher among overweight and obese children than normal children. By multivariate linear regression analyses, BMI (β = 0.250, P = 0.049) and WC (β = 0.308, P = 0.015) were positively associated with SBP; age (β = 0.111, P = 0.017), BMI (β = 0.320, P = 0.012) were positively associated with DBP but total (weekly) hours of sleep (β = -0.095, P = 0.037) was negatively associated with DBP. BP was associated with BMI and WC. Health promotion activities should be initiated in primary schools.
    05/2013; 20(2):90-7. DOI:10.4103/2230-8229.114769
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    • "In our study, elevated BP and/or HT among males and females was not strongly associated with the other factors we analyzed (socio-economic factors, physical activity, stress level) as much as with intermediate outcomes such as BMI and WC. Prevalence of elevated BP increased somewhat with an increase in sedentarity level among Tunisian adolescents; this result is consistent with most other studies [37,44,63,66,67]. Hence, the promotion of weight control using appropriate strategies (measures that target environmental factors as well as behavioral ones) in Tunisian children and adolescents aimed at reducing overweight, could also help reduce elevated BP and many other risk factors of chronic diseases during adolescence and adulthood. "
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    ABSTRACT: In southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, changes in lifestyle and the increasing prevalence of excess weight in childhood are risk factors for high blood pressure (BP) during adolescence and adulthood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the BP status of Tunisian adolescents and to identify associated factors. A cross-sectional study in 2005, based on a national, stratified, random cluster sample of 1294 boys and 1576 girls aged 15-19 surveyed in home visits. The socio-economic and behavioral characteristics of the adolescents were recorded. Overweight/obesity were assessed by Body Mass Index (BMI) from measured height and weight (WHO, 2007), abdominal obesity by waist circumference (WC). BP was measured twice during the same visit. Elevated BP was systolic (SBP) or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥ 90th of the international reference or ≥ 120/80 mm Hg for 15-17 y., and SBP/DBP ≥ 120/80 mm Hg for 18-19 y.; hypertension was SBP/DBP ≥ 95th for 15-17 y. and ≥ 140/90 mm Hg for 18-19 y. Adjusted associations were assessed by logistic regression. The prevalence of elevated BP was 35.1%[32.9-37.4]: higher among boys (46.1% vs. 33.3%; P < 0.0001); 4.7%[3.8-5.9] of adolescents had hypertension. Associations adjusted for all covariates showed independent relationships with BMI and WC: - obesity vs. no excess weight increased elevated BP (boys OR = 2.1[1.0-4.2], girls OR = 2.3[1.3-3.9]) and hypertension (boys OR = 3.5[1.4-8.9], girls OR = 5.4[2.2-13.4]), - abdominal obesity (WC) was also associated with elevated BP in both genders (for boys: 2nd vs. 1st tertile OR = 1.7[1.3-2.3], 3rd vs.1st tertile OR = 2.8[1.9-4.2]; for girls: 2nd vs. 1st tertile OR = 1.6[1.2-2.1], 3rd vs.1st tertile OR = 2.1[1.5-3.0]) but only among boys for hypertension. Associations with other covariates were weaker: for boys, hypertension increased somewhat with sedentary lifestyle, while elevated BP was slightly more prevalent among urban girls and those not attending school. Within the limits of BP measurement on one visit only, these results suggest that Tunisian adolescents of both genders are likely not spared from early elevated BP. Though further assessment is likely needed, the strong association with overweight/obesity observed suggests that interventions aimed at changing lifestyles to reduce this main risk factor may also be appropriate for the prevention of elevated BP.
    BMC Public Health 02/2012; 12(1):98. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-98 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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