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: 5.3). 04/2007; 119(3):544-53. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2006-2136
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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    ABSTRACT: A large number of adults worldwide suffer from essential hypertension, and because blood pressures (BPs) tend to remain within the same percentiles throughout life, it has been postulated that hypertensive pressures can be tracked from childhood to adulthood. Thus, children with higher BPs are more likely to become hypertensive adults. These "pre-hypertensive" subjects can be identified by measuring arterial BP at a young age, and compared with age, gender and height-specific references. The majority of studies report that 1 to 5% of children and adolescents are hypertensive, defined as a BP > 95(th) percentile, with higher prevalence rates reported for some isolated geographic areas. However, the actual prevalence of hypertension in children and adolescents remains to be fully elucidated. In addition to these young "pre-hypertensive" subjects, there are also children and adolescents with a normal-high BP (90(th)-95(th) percentile). Early intervention may help prevent the development of essential hypertension as they age. An initial attempt should be made to lower their BP by non-pharmacologic measures, such as weight reduction, aerobic physical exercise, and lowered sodium intake. A pharmacological treatment is usually needed should these measures fail to lower BP. The majority of antihypertensive drugs are not formulated for pediatric patients, and have thus not been investigated in great detail. The purpose of this review is to provide an update concerning juvenile hypertension, and highlight recent developments in epidemiology, diagnostic methods, and relevant therapies.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Despite the significant prevalence of elevated blood pressure (BP) and body mass index (BMI) in children, few studies have assessed their combined impact on healthcare costs. This study estimates healthcare costs related to BP and BMI in children and adolescents. Study Design Prospective dynamic cohort study of 71,617 children aged 3 to 17 years with 208,800 child years of enrollment in integrated health systems in Colorado or Minnesota between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2011. Methods Generalized linear models were used to calculate standardized annual estimates of total, inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy costs, outpatient utilization, and receipt of diagnostic and evaluation tests associated with BP status and BMI status. Results Total annual costs were significantly lower in children with normal BP ($736, SE = $15) and prehypertension ($945, SE = $10) than children with hypertension ($1972, SE = $74) (P <.001, each comparison), adjusting for BMI. Total annual cost for children below the 85th percentile of BMI ($822, SE = $8) was significantly lower than for children between the 85th and 95th percentiles ($954, SE = $45) and for children at or above the 95th percentile ($937, SE = $13) (P <.001, each), adjusting for HT. Conclusions This study shows strong associations of prehypertension and hypertension, independent of BMI, with healthcare costs in children. Although BMI status was also statistically significantly associated with costs, the major influence on cost in this large cohort of children and adolescents was BP status. Costs related to elevated BMI may be systematically overestimated in studies that do not adjust for BP status.
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    ABSTRACT: To provide oscillometric blood pressure (BP) reference values in European non-overweight school children.
    International journal of obesity (2005) 09/2014; 38 Suppl 2:S48-56. DOI:10.1038/ijo.2014.135 · 5.39 Impact Factor

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