Childhood Hypertension Linked to Early Maturation

Advanced biological maturation may serve as independent marker for primary hypertension
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Accelerated bone growth may serve as a predictor of primary hypertension in children and adolescents, according to a Polish study published online Oct. 19 in Hypertension.

Pawel Pludowski, Ph.D., of the Children's Memorial Health Institute in Warsaw, Poland, and colleagues examined whether measures of biological maturation (bone age, chronological age, body height, body weight, and body mass index) were associated with primary hypertension in 54 children and adolescents newly diagnosed with primary hypertension and 54 matched controls.

The researchers found that, while bone age and chronological age were similar in healthy controls, bone age was a mean of 1.9 years higher than chronological age in hypertensive children. Accelerated skeletal maturation was significantly more common in hypertensive children matched for body mass index (88.9 versus 37.0 percent). Skeletal maturation was present in hypertensive children regardless of weight. The strongest predictor of hypertension was skeletal maturation followed by height and chronological age.

"Our findings indicate that an accelerated rate of biological maturation, independent of sexual development, is a characteristic phenotype of children and adolescents with primary hypertension," the authors conclude. "The precise estimation of the clinical relevance of our results is difficult at present. Implementation of biological maturation assessments, although rather unrealistic in everyday practice, may be crucial for studies focused on the etiopathogenesis of primary hypertension during a growth period."

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