Recent blood pressure trends in adolescents from China, Korea, Seychelles and the United States of America, 1997–2012

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Abstract

Objective:

Although the prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide, secular trends in elevated blood pressure (BP) differ across populations. We aimed to compare recent BP and obesity trends in adolescents aged 10–19 years in China, Korea, Seychelles and the United States of America.

Methods:

Data in adolescents aged 10–19 years came from China (1997–2011, n = 8025), Korea (1998–2012, n = 10 119), Seychelles (1998–2012, n = 27 569) and the United States of America (1999–2012, n = 14 580). Elevated BP was defined as SBP or DBP equal to or above the referent sex, age and height-specific 95th percentile of the US Fourth Report. Overweight and obesity were defined using criteria of the International Obesity Task Force.

Results:

Between 1997–2000 and 2011–2012, the prevalence of elevated BP decreased in Korea and did not change substantially in China and in the United States of America. The prevalence of elevated BP increased in Seychelles. In 2011–2012, the prevalence of elevated BP was 1.7% in the United States of America, 3.8% in China, 3.7% in Korea and 14.3% in Seychelles. The prevalence of overweight and obesity increased over time and reached in 2011–2012 41.2% in the United States of America, 18.6% in China, 25.2% in Korea and 27.4% in Seychelles. Elevated BP was strongly associated with obesity in all countries.

Conclusion:

Although the prevalence of obesity increased markedly in the four countries, secular BP trends in adolescents differed in countries of different regions.

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