Background: The Tucson Children's Assessment of Sleep Apnea study (TuCASA) was designed to investigate the prevalence and correlates of objectively measured sleep-related breathing disorder (SBD) in preadolescent Hispanic and white children.
Objective: To describe the associations of SBD and elevation in resting blood pressure in the first 239 children enrolled in TuCASA.
Design: Children between the ages of 6 and 11 years (45% girls and 51% Hispanic) from elementary schools of the Tucson Unified School District were enrolled in this prospective cohort study. Resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, sleep symptoms, and parental smoking status were obtained during evening home visits, followed by overnight unattended home polysomnography.
Results: The mean (SD) systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 98.4 (10.6) mm Hg and 62.0 (8.9) mm Hg, respectively. Fifteen children had hypertension. The mean (SD) respiratory disturbance index (2%), defined as the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep associated with a 2% oxygen desaturation, was 2.3 (3.8) events per hour. Factors independently associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure elevation were obesity, sleep efficiency, and respiratory disturbance index (2%).
Conclusions: In preadolescent children, elevated blood pressure is associated with SBD and obesity, as previously noted in adults. The control of obesity in childhood may be important to reduce the daytime consequences of SBD and to reduce the risks of life-long hypertension.