The association between arterial properties and blood pressure in children
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Elevated blood pressure (BP) in adults is associated with increased arterial stiffness and thickness; however, its effect on arterial health in a pediatric population is less understood. The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between childhood BP and arterial markers of arteriosclerotic progression. The study consisted of 106 children across a wide range of BP values divided into 2 BP groups: high BP (HBP; ≥ 95th percentile; n = 21) and normal BP (NBP; < 90th percentile; n = 85) based on consistent automated BP measures taken at 2 time points. The laboratory examination involved systemic pulse wave velocity (PWV), common carotid artery (CCA) intima media thickness (IMT) and distensibility, as well as body mass index (BMI) and pubertal maturation. BMI and heart rate, as well as PWV (HBP: n = 15 and NBP: n = 56), were higher in the HBP group (p < 0.001) with no difference between groups for both CCA distensibility and IMT (HBP: n = 21 and NBP: n = 83). Multivariate linear regression revealed that BP group (p = 0.003) was an independent predictor of PWV after controlling for age, sex, BMI, heart rate, and maturation. Our findings demonstrate a higher systemic PWV with no difference in CCA IMT or distensibility in children with elevated BP. Hence, markers of cardiovascular disease risk are augmented in healthy children with elevated BP.
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