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Ann Epidemiol. 1998 Nov;8(8):504-12.

Blood pressure at age 3-24 years in a rural community in Anhui, China.

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Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts 02118, USA.



This community-based study in Anhui, China examined the sex-specific pattern of blood pressure (BP) and its major determinants between age 3 and 24 years.


BP, height, weight, and related covariates were obtained from all eligible subjects by consistent methods. A generalized additive model was used to explore independent relations between BP and covariates. The sample for analyses included a total of 14,277 subjects (7244 males and 7033 females).


Systolic blood pressure (SBP) increased linearly with age to an apparent plateau around the age of 15 years in girls and 20 years in boys. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) essentially paralleled SBP. Until the age of 10, both SBP and DBP were similar in boys and girls; thereafter, values for boys surpassed those for girls with an average difference of 9 mmHg and 4 mmHg for SBP and DBP, respectively, at 20 years of age. This sex difference appeared to persist into early adulthood. The independent relation between BP and each of the three major determinants (age, height, and weight) was nonlinear over the age range studied. Sex-specific regression models with linear terms for age, height and weight were developed for each of four age groups (3-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24 years). The 5th, 10th, 90th, and 95th percentiles based on the percentage of predicted values can serve as the cutoffs for low, normal-low, normal-high, and high BP. The predicted values were derived from the above regression models that take into account an individual's sex, age, height, and weight.


This analysis provided important basis for classification of hypertension status and subsequent investigation of environmental risk factors in this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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