Profiles of blood pressure among children and adolescents categorized by BMI and waist circumference

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Abstract

Background

BMI and waist circumference (WC) are two commonly used measurements for defining general and central obesity. The present study examined the profiles of blood pressure (BP) among children and adolescents categorized by BMI and WC in Shandong, China.

Participants and methods

A total of 38 810 students (19 453 boys and 19 357 girls) aged 7–17 years participated in this study. Height, weight, WC, and BP of all participants were measured, and BMI was calculated. Relatively high BP status was defined as systolic BP and/or diastolic BP ≥95th percentile for age and sex. All individuals were classified into four groups (Q1–Q4) according to the age-specific and sex-specific quartiles of BMI and WC; the BP level and the prevalence of relatively high BP among the four groups were compared.

Results

In both boys and girls, significant differences in BP level and the prevalence of relatively high BP were observed among the four groups categorized by BMI and WC separately (P<0.01). Children and adolescents in the high BMI group (Q4) had higher systolic BP and diastolic BP than their counterparts in the low BMI group (Q1) in all age groups (P<0.01), the range of differences being 5.7–10.3, 3.6–5.6 mmHg for boys and 3.9–8.7, 2.2–5.3 mmHg for girls, respectively. Similar differences were also observed among different groups categorized by WC.

Conclusion

High BMI and WC are associated with elevated BP. Our findings emphasize the importance of the prevention of general and central obesity to prevent future-related problems such as hypertension in children and adolescents.

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