Understanding trends in blood pressure and their associations with body mass index in Chinese children, from 1985 to 2010: a cross-sectional observational study

Bin Dong, Zhiqiang Wang, Yi Song, Haijun Wang, Jun Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Understanding trends in blood pressure (BP) in childhood is crucial to addressing and reducing the burden of adulthood hypertension and associated mortality in the future. In view of growing obesity in Chinese children, we sought to investigate the trends in BP and the influence of body mass index (BMI) on them.

Design, setting and participants: We included 1 010 153 children aged 8–17 years, with completed records from a large national successive cross-sectional survey, the Chinese National Survey on Students’ Constitution and Health, between 1985 and 2010.

Main outcome measurements: BP was measured according to the recommendation of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group, and the elevated BP was based on sex-, age- and height-specific 95th centile of the recommendation.

Results:
The adjusted mean systolic BP in boys and girls decreased by 3.9 and 5.6 mm Hg between 1985 and 2005, and increased by 1.3 and 1.0 mm Hg between 2005 and 2010, respectively. Corresponding adjusted prevalence of elevated systolic BP in boys and girls declined from 5.1% and 5.5% to 3.5% and 2.5% between 1985 and 2005, and increased to 4.9% and 3.5% in 2010, respectively. Adjusted mean BMI of boys and girls in 2010 was 2.0 and 1.2 kg/m2 higher than those in 1985, respectively. The prevalence of obesity rose from 0% to 3.4% in boys and 0.9% in girls. Further adjusting for BMI did not change these trends in systolic BP. A similar pattern was also observed in diastolic BP.

Conclusions: After declining for 20 years, BP levels in Chinese children started to climb upwards. These trends in BP cannot be fully explained by BMI. The investigation of other determinants of BP may provide additional opportunity to curb the current upward BP trend in Chinese children.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere009050
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Open
Volume5
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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