Pilot Study of Blood Pressure in Girls With Turner Syndrome
An Awareness Gap, Clinical Associations, and New Hypotheses
Cardiovascular disease is the major factor that reduces lifespan in Turner syndrome. High blood pressure (BP) is common in Turner syndrome and is the most easily treatable cardiovascular risk factor. We studied the prevalence of elevated screening systemic BP, awareness of the problem, and its clinical associations in a large group of girls attending the annual meeting of the Turner Syndrome Society of the United States. Among 168 girls aged 2 to 17 years, 42% had elevated screening BP (systolic and diastolic), yet only 8% reported a previous diagnosis of hypertension. History of aortic coarctation repair (17%) was positively associated with elevated systolic BP (52% versus 32%; P<0.05). Elevated systolic BP was positively associated with obesity (56% versus 31%; P<0.05). Because the prevalence of obesity in the studied population was similar to Center for Disease Control published data for obesity in all girls and the prevalence of increased BP is approximately twice that of the general population, the Turner syndrome phenotype/genotype probably includes an intrinsic risk for hypertension. Obesity and repaired aortic coarctation increase this risk further. There seems to be a BP awareness gap in girls with Turner syndrome. Because girls living with Turner syndrome are a sensitized population for hypertension, further study may provide clues to genetic factors leading to a better understanding of essential hypertension in the general population.
- Received December 23, 2015.
- Revision received January 18, 2016.
- Accepted April 22, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.