Given the South Asian phenotype of higher body fat at similar body mass index (BMI) relative to Caucasians, we sought to explore the association between prominent adiposity indicators with blood pressure (BP) and hypertension, to compare the accuracy of these indicators in estimating hypertension, and to provide cut-off values associated with adverse hypertension risk in South Asian children.
Community-based recruitment in two Canadian cities (Hamilton and Surrey).
South Asian children (n=762) were recruited from two Canadian cities. Waist circumference, waist to height ratio and BMI were determined. Body fat percentage was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis and BP was assessed using an automated device. All variables (except body fat percentage) were transformed to z-scores using published standards.
Linear and Poisson regression was used to explore associations between the adiposity indicators with BP z-score and hypertension. Receiver operating curve (ROC) analysis was used to explore the strength of the adiposity indicators in estimating hypertension risk and sex-stratified optimal adiposity cut-off values associated with hypertension risk.
Significant associations were detected in adjusted and unadjusted models between the adiposity indicators with BP z-score and hypertension (p<0.01 for all). The area under the curve (AUC) values for the adiposity indicators for boys and girls ranged from 0.74 to 0.80, suggesting that the adiposity indicators are fair measures of estimating hypertension risk. Sex-stratified cut-off associated with adverse risk of hypertension for girls and boys, respectively, were at the 92nd and 82nd percentile for BMI z-scores, 65th and 80th percentile for WC z-score, 63rd and 67th percentile for WHtR z-score and at 29.8% and 23.5% for body fat.
Our results show associations between adiposity indicators with BP and hypertension and suggests that South Asian children might be at adverse risk of hypertension at levels of adiposity considered normal.