Tracking of systolic blood pressure during childhood: a 15-year follow-up population-based family study in eastern Finland

J Hypertens. 2002 Feb;20(2):195-202. doi: 10.1097/00004872-200202000-00008.


Objectives: To investigate the tracking of systolic arterial blood pressure (SBP) during childhood.

Design and setting: All children born during 1981-82 in a rural community of eastern Finland were followed at the ages of 6 months, 7 and 15 years (SBP-6m, SBP-7y, SBP-15y). One hundred and thirty-eight out of 205 children completed the full follow-up period, of which 100 (45 girls) were included in the analysis with complete data.

Main outcome measures: SBP (mmHg).

Results: SBP-6m was associated with SBP-7y (r = 0.715; P < 0.001) and with SBP-15y (r = 0.238; P = 0.017) and SBP-7y was associated with SBP-15y (r = 0.348; P < 0.001). Adjustment for confounders did not change these results. Children at the highest tertile of SBP-6m had a higher probability of being at the highest tertile of SBP-7y [relative risk (RR) = 4.3; 95% confidence interval (CI), (2.4-7.6)] and SBP-15y [RR = 1.9; 95% CI, (1.1-3.3)]. Children at the highest tertile of SBP-7y had a higher probability of being at the highest tertile of SBP-15y [RR = 2.6 (1.5-4.6)]. The regression analysis showed a significant main effect on SBP-15y for birth weight (negative association), male gender, current body mass index (BMI), change of BMI between the ages of 7 years and 15 years, SBP-6m, SBP-7y and the mean SBP between the ages of 6 months and 7 years (all with positive association). Children with family history of hypertension appear to have a higher SBP during childhood; however, this association did not reach a significant level.

Conclusions: The study confirmed the tracking of SBP during childhood. Birth weight was inversely associated with SBP-15y. Family history of hypertension was not significantly associated with SBP during childhood.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Birth Weight / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / genetics
  • Infant
  • Infant Welfare
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Systole / physiology