Establishing International Blood Pressure References Among Non-Overweight Children and Adolescents Aged 6-17 Years
Background—Several distributions of country-specific blood pressure (BP) percentiles by sex, age and height for children and adolescents have been established worldwide. However, there are no globally unified BP references for defining elevated BP in children and adolescents, which limit international comparisons of prevalence of pediatric elevated BP. We aimed to establish international BP references for children and adolescents using seven nationally representative data (China, India, Iran, Korea, Poland, Tunisia and USA).
Methods and Results—Data on BP for 52,636 non-overweight children and adolescents aged 6-19 years were obtained from seven large nationally representative cross-sectional surveys in China, India, Iran, Korea, Poland, Tunisia, and USA. BP values were obtained with certified mercury sphygmomanometers in all seven countries, using standard procedures for BP measurement. Smoothed BP percentiles (50th, 90th, 95th and 99th) by age and height were estimated using the Generalized Additive Model for Location Scale and Shape (GAMLSS) model. BP values were similar between males and females until the age of 13 years and were higher in males than females thereafter. Compared to BP level of the 90th and 95th percentiles of the U.S. Fourth Report at median height, systolic BP of the corresponding percentiles of these international references was lower while diastolic BP was similar.
Conclusions—These international BP references will be a useful tool for international comparison of the prevalence of elevated BP in children and adolescents and may help identify hypertensive youths in diverse populations.
- Received June 12, 2015.
- Revision received October 21, 2015.
- Accepted November 20, 2015.