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J Hypertens. 2020 Mar;38(3):387-394. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000002298.

Weight gain and blood pressure.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
2
The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
3
Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University, Uppsala.
4
Department of Cardiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
5
Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg.
6
Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Lund University, Lund.
7
Clinical Physiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg.
8
Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå.
9
CMIV, Centre of Medical Image Science and Visualization.
10
Department of Clinical Physiology, and Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping.
11
Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm.
12
Unit of Cardiovascular and Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine.
13
Department of Cardiovascular Science.
14
Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
15
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping.
16
Department of Medicine, Skåne University Hospital and Clinical Sciences Malmö, Lund University, Lund.
17
Section of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
18
Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Although the causality of the obesity--hypertension association is established, the potential for prevention is not. We hypothesized that weight gain between early adulthood and mid-life is associated with higher mid-life blood pressure.

METHODS:

We investigated the hypothesis using a large contemporaneous population-based mid-life cohort of men and women aged 50-64 years. Recalled body weight at age 20 years was self-reported, and mid-life body weight and office blood pressures were measured in accordance with a detailed protocol.

RESULTS:

On average, men had gained 14.9 (95% CI 14.6-15.2) kg of weight, and women 14.6 (95% CI 14.4-14.9) kg, between age 20 years and the mid-life examination, corresponding to 0.40 (95% CI 0.39-0.41) kg/year for men and women. Both weight at age 20 years and weight at the mid-life examination were associated with mid-life blood pressures. On average, a 10 kg weight increase between age 20 years and mid-life was associated with 2.2 (95% CI 0.9-3.5) mmHg higher systolic and 1.7 (95% CI 0.9-2.5) mmHg higher diastolic mid-life blood pressure in men, and 3.2 (2.5-4.0) mmHg higher systolic and 2.4 (1.9-2.9) mmHg higher diastolic mid-life blood pressure in women. Mid-life weight was more closely associated than weight at age 20 years with mid-life blood pressure. For a given mid-life weight, blood pressure was higher in persons with higher weight gain from age 20 years.

CONCLUSION:

In sum, weight gain between early adulthood and mid-life was associated with higher mid-life blood pressure. The magnitude of the association indicates a potentially great public health impact of strategies to prevent weight gain throughout adulthood.

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