Background: Childhood OSA is a prevalent condition associated with raised BP as documented in cross-sectional studies. This study aimed to determine whether baseline or change in OSA severity was associated with ambulatory BP at 4-year follow-up.
Methods: Children who participated in our previous OSA prevalence research were invited to undergo a repeat overnight sleep study and 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring in this 4-year follow-up study. BP parameters of subjects with differing baseline OSA severity, that is, obstructive apnea-hypopnea index (OAHI) < 1/h, 1 to 5/h, and > 5/h, were compared. Overweight and normal-weight children were analyzed separately.
Results: One hundred eighty-five of 306 subjects (60%) were included in the analysis, of whom 58 were overweight at baseline. Linear increasing trends of wake systolic BP (SBP), wake diastolic BP (DBP), and sleep SBP z scores at follow-up were found across groups of increasing baseline OSA severity in the normal weight but not in the overweight subgroup. After adjusting for BMI z score, baseline OAHI was independently associated with all BP z scores at follow-up but not associated with changes in BP z scores across 4 years. On the other hand, change in OAHI was independently associated with sleep SBP and DBP z scores at follow-up and with changes in sleep SBP and DBP z scores across 4 years.
Conclusions: This study provides longitudinal data as additional proof that childhood OSA is associated with elevated BP independent of obesity.