Abstract 19806: Factors’ Influence Blood Pressure in 3-5 Year Old Preschool Children
Introduction: It is estimated that 2-3 million children in the US have diagnosed hypertension that can track to adulthood and is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the prevalence of instance elevations of blood pressure (BP) in children is estimated to greatly exceed the prevalence of hypertension. There is increasing evidence that risk factors for CVD, including hypertension and instance elevations in BP, begin in childhood. It is unclear when the elevations in BP first appear in children and what factors influence BP. Few studies have examined instance elevations in BP in preschool children and/or what factors influence BP.
Hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of elevated BP readings in a group of rural and urban preschool children and to determine if there were differences in BP status (normal, prehypertensive, or hypertensive range) based on race, gender, location, prematurity status, or body mass index (BMI) status.
Methods: A cross-sectional comparative design was used to address the purpose. A convenience sample of 56 3-5 year old children (27 rural, 29 urban; 37 male, 19 female; 33 Black, 21 White) were recruited from Head Start Centers. Height, weight, and BP were collected according to protocols at the Centers.
Results: Based on pediatric percentiles, 30% of the children had elevated BP readings; 14% Pre-Hypertensive readings (6 males; 2 female; 4 Black; 4 White); 16% Hypertensive readings (6 males; 3 females; 5 Black, 4 White). Seventy-six percent of elevated BP readings were systolic BP (SBP); 47% of those with elevated BP readings had diastolic elevations, while 23.5% had elevations in both SBP and DBP. Nine participants were overweight; 5 were obese. Over 65% of the children with BP elevations were normoweight. There were no differences in BP status based on race, gender, location, prematurity or BMI Status. There was a small effect size for the relationship between race, BMI status, prematurity and BP status.
Conclusions: Thirty percent of 3-5 year-old children in this sample had elevated BP readings, the majority of which were SBP. BP should be measured in children at each visit to health care providers and elevations in BP readings addressed early to prevent later hypertension and other CVDs.
Author Disclosures: C.I. Joiner: None. D. Ejem: None. A. Azuero: None. O. Affuso: None. F. Hage: None. A. Turner-Henson: None. M. Rice: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.