Steeper increases in body mass index during childhood correlate with blood pressure elevation in adolescence: A long-term follow-up study in a Japanese community

Erika Kuwahara, Keiko Asakura, Yuji Nishiwaki, Hirokazu Komatsu, Akemi Nakazawa, Hideo Ushiku, Fumio Maejima, Yoshio Nishigaki, Tomonobu Hasegawa, Tomonori Okamura, Toru Takebayashi

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The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between long-term changes in body mass index (BMI) during childhood and adolescent blood-pressure levels in a general Japanese population. We used health report data from 900 Japanese children between 1983 and 2007. After adjusting for baseline BMI and other confounding factors multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to examine the relationship between changes in BMI (ΔBMI) over a 6-year period (6-12 years) and blood pressure once children reached ages 14 or 15. Sub-group analyses were also performed to ascertain the relationship between ΔBMI and blood pressure at 9th grade for children who had been in the bottom BMI tertile at 1st grade. Endpoint blood-pressure levels in boys (systolic and diastolic) and girls (systolic) from the group whose BMIs increased the most were significantly higher than those from the group whose BMIs increased the least (P<0.05, analysis of variance). After adjustment for baseline BMI and school-entrance year, the former group showed higher blood pressure at the endpoint than the latter (P<0.05, multiple regression analysis). Further adjustment for baseline blood pressure also showed similar results in a combined-sex analysis (n=592). Higher ΔBMI was associated with higher SBP 9 even in children whose BMI was in the lowest tertile at baseline after adjustment for sex and school-entrance year (P=0.02, multiple regression analysis). Steeper BMI increases during primary school lead to adolescent increases in blood pressure even if baseline BMI is low. Growth during childhood should be carefully managed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalHypertension Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb 1



  • BMI
  • Japan
  • blood pressure
  • children
  • cohort studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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