Body fat patterning and blood pressure in children and young adults. The Bogalusa Heart Study.
The relationship of central body fat (measured by subscapular skinfold) and peripheral body fat (measured by triceps skinfold) to blood pressure was investigated in 3784 subjects aged 5 to 24 years old from the biracial community of Bogalusa, Louisiana. After adjustment for height, age, sex, and race, significant relationships were found for both central body fat (r = 0.19 and 0.14, p less than 0.0001) and peripheral body fat (r = 0.15 and 0.12; p less than 0.0001) with systolic and diastolic (fourth phase) blood pressure, respectively. However, the relationship between peripheral body fat and blood pressure, after controlling for the level of central body fat, was negligible (r = 0.00 and 0.01 for systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively). In contrast, the central body fat-blood pressure relationship remained statistically significant even after controlling for the peripheral body fat level. For central body fat, the partial correlations with systolic blood pressure were highest in young children (r = 0.15), dropped slightly during adolescence (r = 0.12), and became nonsignificant only in 18- to 24-year-old female subjects; correlations remained high in both black and white 18- to 24-year-old male subjects (r = 0.18 and 0.16, respectively). Mean levels of systolic blood pressure from the lowest to the highest quartile of central body fat ranged from 100.4 to 108.9 mm Hg. The adult hypertension-central body fat relationship, which has been shown by others, appears to exist in children. Continued efforts at early identification and prevention of obesity in children are warranted.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association