Abstract 20362: Racial Differences in BMI and Blood Pressure in Childhood and Adolescence
Introduction: Obesity and hypertension are well known risk factors for developing cardiovascular (CV) disease and have become increasingly prevalent in children. The higher prevalence of obesity and hypertension among black (BC) and Hispanic (HC) as compared to white children (WC) has the potential to drive future disparities in CV health.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that racial differences in body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) emerge early in childhood.
Methods: We included 4,827 children (25% black, 10% Hispanic) between the ages of 5-20 years who received regular outpatient care at a single, large academic medical center from 1996-2016. Index visit age was stratified into 3 groups (5-<10, 10-<15, 15-<20). BMI was expressed as age- and sex-specific percentiles and BP as age-sex- and height-specific percentiles. Comparisons of differences across race/ethnicity within each age group were performed by general linear model.
Results: At the index visit, 19.0% of BC, 27.1% of HC vs 9.5% of WC were obese and less than 0.5% of all race groups had hypertension (p<0.01, mean age 10 yrs). Within each age-group BC and HC had a higher mean BMI percentile as compared to WC (figure). Across all age groups, BC and HC had 2-4x greater odds of being obese as compared to WC (all p-values <0.01) and these odds were generally higher among the adolescent age groups. In contrast, in the youngest age group (5-9 yrs) BC had a lower mean systolic BP percentile as compared to WC (36% vs 42%, p<0.01). There were no significant racial differences by age 10-14, but by age 15-17, BC and HC had higher mean systolic BP percentiles than WC (44% and 47%, respectively vs 38% among WC, p<0.05) (figure). Diastolic BP percentiles were similar by race.
Conclusions: Racial differences in BMI and BP are present during early childhood and increase during adolescence. Interventions aimed at narrowing racial disparities in CV risk factors may need to begin in early childhood to prevent disparities in future CV risk.
Author Disclosures: E. Akhabue: None. C. Chan: None. P. Greenland: None. N.B. Allen: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.