Repeated Blood Pressure Measurements in Childhood in Prediction of Hypertension in Adulthood
Hypertension may be predicted from childhood risk factors. Repeated observations of abnormal blood pressure in childhood may enhance prediction of hypertension and subclinical atherosclerosis in adulthood compared with a single observation. Participants (1927, 54% women) from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study had systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements performed when aged 3 to 24 years. Childhood/youth abnormal blood pressure was defined as above 90th or 95th percentile. After a 21- to 31-year follow-up, at the age of 30 to 45 years, hypertension (>140/90 mm Hg or antihypertensive medication) prevalence was found to be 19%. Carotid intima-media thickness was examined, and high-risk intima-media was defined as intima-media thickness >90th percentile or carotid plaques. Prediction of adulthood hypertension and high-risk intima-media was compared between one observation of abnormal blood pressure in childhood/youth and multiple observations by improved Pearson correlation coefficients and area under the receiver operating curve. When compared with a single measurement, 2 childhood/youth observations improved the correlation for adult systolic (r=0.44 versus 0.35, P<0.001) and diastolic (r=0.35 versus 0.17, P<0.001) blood pressure. In addition, 2 abnormal childhood/youth blood pressure observations increased the prediction of hypertension in adulthood (0.63 for 2 versus 0.60 for 1 observation, P=0.003). When compared with 2 measurements, third observation did not provide any significant improvement for correlation or prediction (P always >0.05). A higher number of childhood/youth observations of abnormal blood pressure did not enhance prediction of adult high-risk intima-media thickness. Compared with a single measurement, the prediction of adult hypertension was enhanced by 2 observations of abnormal blood pressure in childhood/youth.
- Received August 27, 2015.
- Revision received September 20, 2015.
- Accepted October 19, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.