Secular Trends in Blood Pressure and Overweight and Obesity in Chinese Boys and Girls Aged 7 to 17 Years From 1995 to 2014

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Abstract

The current study aimed to assess the secular trends in overweight and obesity status and high blood pressure (HBP) in Chinese children and adolescents for 2 decades. Data on 943 128 participants aged 7 to 17 years were obtained from the Chinese National Survey on Students’ Constitution and Health from 1995 to 2014. The population attributable risk of overweight status for HBP was calculated. The prevalence of overweight increased from 4.3% in 1995 to 18.4% in 2014, whereas HBP prevalence fluctuated in the range of 4.4% to 6.4% during the same time period, the lowest in 2005. Within each survey year, blood pressure levels and HBP prevalence increased with higher body mass index. Notably, the population attributable risk of HBP because of being overweight steadily increased from 6.3% in 1995 to 19.2% in 2014. The same trends of linear growth for obesity, fluctuating blood pressure, and its sustained increasing population attributable risk for overweight also occurred among the domestic 29 provinces. Despite dramatic increases in overweight prevalence among Chinese children from 1995 to 2014, the HBP prevalence remained relatively stable, suggesting that other independent factors are affecting HBP trends to a greater extent. Yet, over time, the magnitude of the impact of being overweight or obese on HBP increased sharply, predicting looming heavy burden of HBP. Reductions in overweight status may aid in preventing HBP so as to prevent coronary risk in adulthood.

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