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Hypertension. 2005 Jun;45(6):1083-7. Epub 2005 May 16.

Effect of body mass index changes between ages 5 and 14 on blood pressure at age 14: findings from a birth cohort study.

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School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


Weight reduction in clinical populations of severely obese children has been shown to have beneficial effects on blood pressure, but little is known about the effect of weight gain among children in the general population. This study compares the mean blood pressure at 14 years of age with the change in overweight status between ages 5 and 14. Information from 2794 children born in Brisbane, Australia, and who were followed up since birth and had body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure measurements at ages 5 and 14 were used. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure at age 14 was the main outcomes and different patterns of change in BMI from age 5 to 14 were the main exposure. Those who changed from being overweight at age 5 to having normal BMI at age 14 had similar mean blood pressures to those who had a normal BMI at both time points: age- and sex-adjusted mean difference in systolic blood pressure 1.54 (-0.38, 3.45) mm Hg and in diastolic blood pressure 0.43 (-0.95, 1.81) mm Hg. In contrast, those who were overweight at both ages or who had a normal BMI at age 5 and were overweight at age 14 had higher blood pressure at age 14 than those who had a normal BMI at both times. These effects were independent of a range of potential confounding factors. Our findings suggest that programs that successfully result in children changing from overweight to normal-BMI status for their age may have important beneficial effects on subsequent blood pressure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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