Race and Sex Differences of Long-Term Blood Pressure Profiles from Childhood and Adult Hypertension: The Bogalusa Heart Study

Wei Shen, Tao Zhang, Shengxu Li, Huijie Zhang, Bo Xi, Hongbing Shen, Camilo Fernandez, Lydia Bazzano, Jiang He, Wei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


This study aims to characterize longitudinal blood pressure (BP) trajectories from childhood in black-white and sex groups and examine the association between childhood level-independent trajectories of BP and adult hypertension. The longitudinal cohort consisted of 2732 adults who had body mass index and BP measured 4 to 15 times from childhood (4-19 years) to adulthood (20-51 years). Model-estimated levels and linear slopes of BP and body mass index at childhood age points were calculated at 1-year intervals using the growth curve parameters and their first derivatives, respectively. Linear and nonlinear curve parameters differed significantly between race-sex groups; BP levels showed race and sex differences 15 years of age onward. Hypertensives had higher long-term BP levels than normotensives in race-sex groups. Although linear and nonlinear slope parameters of BP were race and sex specific, they differed consistently, significantly between hypertension and normotension groups. BP trajectories during young adulthood (20-35 years) were significantly greater in hypertensives than in normotensives; however, the trajectories during middle-aged adulthood (36-51 years) were significantly smaller in hypertensives than in normotensives. Level-independent linear slopes of systolic BP showed significantly negative associations (odds ratio=0.50≈0.76; P<0.001) during prepuberty period (4-11 years) but significantly positive associations (odd ratio=1.44≈2.80, P<0.001) during the puberty period (13-19 years) with adult hypertension, adjusting for covariates. These associations were consistent across race-sex groups. These observations indicate that adult hypertension originates in childhood, with different longitudinal BP trajectory profiles during young and middle-aged adulthood in black-white and sex groups. Puberty is a crucial period for the development of hypertension in later life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular disease
  • hypertension
  • longitudinal study
  • prevalence


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