Background and aims Birthweight and weight gain have been associated with high adult blood pressure (BP). Less well known is the association between height gain across the life cycle and hypertension (HT). The objective of the present study is to assess the independent association of body mass index (BMI) and length at birth and BMI and height gains from birth to childhood, and from childhood to adulthood with adult blood pressure and HT.
Methods A prospective cohort of all living born in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, was assessed at birth (1978/79), school-age (1987/89) and adulthood (2002/04). Data on neonatal variables, socioeconomic position and anthropometry of all three moments as well as adult risk factors for HT were present for 1141 subjects. Conditional weight analysis was performed to assess the independent association of BMI and height repeated-in-time measurements on adult HT.
Results After adjustments BMI at birth (inversely: RR = 0.58; 95% CI 0.35–0.96), BMI gain in adolescence (RR = 3.39; 95% CI 1.87–6.16) and height gain in childhood (RR = 1.95; 95% CI 1.12–3.38) were associated with adult HT. Adult systolic BP was associated with BMI at birth, BMI and height gains in childhood and adolescence. Diastolic BP was associated with BMI at birth, BMI gain in childhood and adolescence, and with height gain in childhood.
Conclusion Lower BMI at birth, higher height gain between birth and school age and higher BMI gain during the second decade of life were associated with adult HT. BMI and height also predict both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Supported CNPq, FAPESP, FAEPA.