Objective: This study was aimed to evaluate the determinants of elevated blood pressure (BP) in adolescents. Design and methods: We retrospectively evaluated the BP and anthropometric data in 419 Japanese students (268 males and 151 females) during high school and university. Their annual health records were analysed for BP, heart rate, height and body weight between the ages of 15 and 21 years. Results: The number of hypertensive students did not vary significantly during the 6 years. Concerning changes in BP categories according to the modified JNCVI classification between the ages of 15 to 21 years, 150 males kept a normal BP (keeping normal BP group); 39 males developed high BP (developing high BP group); 37 males kept high BP (keeping high BP group); and 42 males became normal BP (becoming normal BP group). The majority of females (n = 144, 95.4%) were included in the keeping normal BP group. In male students, both the keeping and becoming normal BP groups, especially the latter, showed a significant decrease in heart rate over the 6 years, while the other two groups showed no change. The height and body weight of each of the four groups showed a significant increase, but the body mass index (BMI) of the males in the becoming normal BP group did not increase over the 6 years. Body weight and BMI at the age of 15 years in the male keeping normal BP group were significantly below that of the other three groups; this difference persisted at the age of 21 years. Furthermore, male university students who showed a BP above 'high-normal' at the age of 21 years exhibited a significantly higher BP, heart rate, body weight and BMI than did the normotensives, when they were high school students. Stepwise regression analysis of the data showed that the best predictors of BP at the age of 21 years were the initial high school BP and BMI levels and changes in BMI and heart rate during the 6-year period for male students. Conclusion: Results indicate that the BP and BMI during high school and the changes in BMI and heart rate from high school to university influenced the BP at the age of 21 years in male students. Data indicate that information on the prevention and management of hypertension including weight control should begin early, especially in male adolescents. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine