Background: Oscillometric devices are increasingly used to measure blood pressure (BP). Reference data are limited and have not used devices validated against sphygmomanometric measurements on which current standards are based. BP standards for Chinese children have been based on sphygmomanometry and have not provided height-related or weight-related BP percentiles.
Methods: BP was measured in 14842 Hong Kong Chinese schoolchildren aged 6-18 years randomly selected from 36 schools in the 18 Hong Kong districts, using a validated oscillometric device (Datascope Accutorr Plus). Height, weight, heart rate and waist circumference were measured. Percentiles for systolic BP and diastolic BP by sex, age, height and weight were generated. Features associated with systolic BP and diastolic BP in 12680 children were analysed by univariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: Reference BP standards by sex, age, weight and height are presented. BP was associated (in descending order of strength) with weight > height > age > waist circumference > body mass index, and weakly with heart rate (which added considerable influence on multivariate analysis). BP increases similarly with age, height (which can normalize for variations in growth) and weight (which is associated most strongly with BP). BP was associated also with family history of high BP and (inversely) with sleep duration.
Conclusions: The study provides oscillometrically measured BP standards for Chinese children, with age-related and sex-related height-specific and weight-specific percentiles. Implications of the findings are discussed. Screening by sex-specific BP-height percentile charts, and then if high, reference to the BP-sex-age-weight table, is suggested.