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Hypertension. 2008 Mar;51(3):635-41. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.107.099234. Epub 2008 Jan 14.

Added impact of obesity and insulin resistance in nocturnal blood pressure elevation in children and adolescents.

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Pediatric Department, Consorcio Hospital General, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain.


The aim of the present study was to analyze the relationship between insulin resistance and the ambulatory blood pressure components in obese children and adolescents. Eighty-seven overweight and obese white children and adolescents of both sexes, of European origin from 6 to 18 years of age (mean age: 10.9+/-2.7 years), were selected. Obesity was defined on the basis of a threshold body mass index z score >2 (Cole's least mean square method) and overweight with a body mass index from the 85th to 97th percentile. A validated oscillometric method was used to measure ambulatory BP (Spacelabs 90207) during 24 hours. Fasting glucose and insulin were measured, and the homeostasis model assessment index was calculated. Subjects were grouped into tertiles of homeostasis model assessment index. No significant differences in terms of age, sex, and body mass index z score distribution were observed among groups. When adjusted by age, sex, and height, nocturnal systolic blood pressure and heart rate were significantly higher in subjects in the highest homeostasis model assessment index tertile (>4.7) as compared with those of the other groups, whereas no differences were observed for awake systolic blood pressure or heart rate. Whereas body mass index z score was more closely related with blood pressure and heart rate values, waist circumference was strongly related with insulin resistance. Moreover, both waist circumference and insulin resistance were mainly associated with higher nocturnal but not with awake blood pressure. The early increment of nocturnal blood pressure and heart rate associated with hyperinsulinemia may be a harbinger of hypertension-related insulin resistance and may contribute to heightened cardiovascular risk associated with this condition.

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