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Children with elevated BP at risk of hypertension in adulthood

28 Nov 2020

Elevated blood pressure (BP) in childhood is significantly associated with hypertension in adulthood, results of a systematic review and meta-analysis have shown.

The investigators used PubMed and Embase databases to identify eligible studies up to 1 November 2019 and manually searched the reference lists of all identified studies. Longitudinal researches on the association between elevated BP in childhood and hypertension in adulthood were included. A random-effects model was used to calculate summary odds ratio (OR) and 95 percent confidence interval (CI).

Eleven articles with a total of 39,714 participants were included in the meta-analysis. Five additional articles were used for systematic review: two studies provided ORs without 95 percent CIs, one did not use standard cutoffs for elevated BP in childhood, and two did not use standard criteria for adult hypertension.

Elevated BP in childhood (3–18 years in the included studies) significantly correlated with hypertension in adulthood (18–57 years in the included studies), with a summary OR of 2.02 (95 percent CI, 1.62–2.53). A 1-standard deviation increase in systolic and diastolic BP in childhood (3–19 years in the included studies) also correlated with hypertension in adulthood (21–49 years in the included studies, with summary ORs of 1.71 (95 percent CI, 1.50–1.95) and 1.57 (95 percent CI, 1.37–1.81), respectively.

In the systematic review of the five additional articles not eligible for meta-analysis, elevated BP in childhood was also significantly associated with hypertension in adulthood.

“The findings support measures to promote healthy BP during childhood to reduce the risk of hypertension later in life,” the investigators said.

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