Blood pressure and cardiac structure in children with a parental history of hypertension: the Odense Schoolchild Study


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Abstract

Objective:To examine the relation between a parental history of hypertension and blood pressure and cardiac structure in children aged 8–10 years.Design:Cross-sectional study of a sample of children drawn from a population survey of coronary risk factors in children.Setting:Odense, Denmark.Subjects:Sixty-nine children of hypertensive parents (5.2% of the eligible population).Main outcome measures:Physical fitness assessed by calculation of maximum oxygen uptake, blood pressure recorded by one blind observer and left ventricular structure determined by echocardiography.Results:Children with a parental history of hypertension displayed a significant decrease in physical fitness and a significant increase in obesity and systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared with the rest of the population. After controlling for differences in body size and physical fitness, they also showed significantly higher levels of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Apart from a significant increase in thickness of the interventricular septum during systole, no significant differences in echocardiographic measures or indices could be demonstrated between children with a parental history of hypertension and a normotensive control group.Conclusion:Our results indicate that a higher level of blood pressure in children with a parental history of hypertension is apparent before the age of 10 years.

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