3-Year-Olds' Weight Is Determinant of Systolic BP

Current weight affects BP more than birth weight; early postnatal growth is also a predictor

THURSDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In 3-year-old children, current weight is a determinant of systolic blood pressure while postnatal growth to 6 months of age is more predictive than birth weight, according to a study published online Nov. 15 in Pediatrics.

Peter C. Hindmarsh, M.D., of the University College London, and colleagues monitored the systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 590 3-year-olds and related their blood pressure measurements to their size at birth, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years, and their current size. The researchers also collected information on maternal hypertension and other family history of hypertension.

The researchers found SBP was related positively to weight at ages 2 and 3 years and, after adjustment for the child's current size, was related negatively to weight at birth and 6 months. In multivariate linear regression analysis, weight at age 3 and family history of hypertension positively influenced SBP, but weight at 6 months negatively influenced it. No significant associations were seen for DBP. In addition, a family history of hypertension had an important role in determining maternal blood pressure.

"These observations suggest that, in addition to early growth effects on blood pressure, consideration needs to be given to genetic factors influencing the growth process, the evolution of blood pressure, or both," the authors write.

The research was supported in part by Pfizer.

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