Volume 22 (2012) Issue 5 Pages 448-453
Background: Monitoring secular trends in blood pressure (BP) among children is important in predicting subsequent hypertension and cardiovascular disease. We investigated secular trends in BP using data from population-based annual screenings of Japanese schoolchildren.
Methods: The participants were 10 894 children (all fourth graders between 1994 and 2010 and all seventh graders between 1997 and 2010) living in the town of Ina in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Body height, weight, and BP were measured, after which children were classified as non-overweight, overweight, or obese. Trends in variables relative to calendar year were analyzed using regression models.
Results: Systolic BP was significantly associated with calendar year among fourth- and seventh-grade boys (−0.350 and −0.434 mm Hg/year, respectively) and fourth- and seventh-grade girls (−0.513 and −0.473 mm Hg/year, respectively) (all P < 0.001), respectively, over time. Systolic BP and calendar year were significantly negatively correlated regardless of physique or sex among all fourth graders, but not among obese seventh-grade girls. In addition, diastolic BP and calendar year did not significantly correlate among seventh-grade overweight or obese boys or obese seventh-grade girls.
Conclusions: BP decreased among fourth-grade schoolchildren in Ina during the past 17 years, regardless of sex or physique. However, BP and calendar year did not significantly correlate among obese seventh graders.