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J Clin Epidemiol. 1992 Sep;45(9):959-69.

A prospective study of familial aggregation of blood pressure in young children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee, Memphis.


In a prospective study, we evaluated familial aggregation of blood pressure in a sample of 175 normotensive families with children 3 to 6 yr old. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements of parents and children were correlated at 1, 2, and 3 yr intervals. Spearman rank-order correlation coefficients between parents and children were significant for mother-son pairs. In particular, mother-son blood pressure correlation coefficients were significant for systolic blood pressure across all 3 yr and for diastolic blood pressure during yr 2. Further analyses were performed adjusting for body mass index (BMI), age, physical activity, sodium intake, potassium intake, and parental smoking status, and alcohol use. The Spearman correlation coefficients for mother-son pairs remained significant for yr 1 and 3 after adjusting for these blood pressure correlates. These results are consistent with cross-sectional studies and suggest that both genetic and environmental contributions to blood pressure status are important in young children.

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