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J Hypertens. 2009 Sep;27(9):1766-74. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32832e8cfa.

Relation of blood pressure and body mass index during childhood to cardiovascular risk factor levels in young adults.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester, New York 14642, USA.



Adult obesity and hypertension are leading causes of cardiovascular morbidity/mortality. Although childhood BMI and blood pressure (BP) track into adulthood, how they influence adult cardiovascular risk independent of each other is not well defined.


Participants were from two longitudinal studies with a baseline evaluation at mean age of 13 years and a follow-up at mean age of 24 years. Regression models using childhood BP and BMI to predict young adult cardiovascular risk factors were performed.


In univariate analysis, childhood BMI predicted young adult BP, lipids, glucose, insulin and insulin resistance, whereas childhood BP predicted young adult BP, lipids and glucose. In a multivariable regression model (adjusted for age, sex and race), which included change in BMI and BP from age 13 to 24 years, BMI predicted all young adult risk factors except BP and glucose. Baseline SBP predicted young adult BP, cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose whereas baseline DBP predicted young adult BP, BMI and glucose.


The results from this study show that BP and BMI act independently in children to influence future cardiovascular risk factors and the combination of high BP and BMI in childhood has an additive effect in predicting the highest levels of young adult cardiovascular risk. Thus, there should be a focus on treating hypertension in overweight and obese children, in addition to attempting to reduce weight.

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