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Adiposity measures and blood pressure in Chinese children and adolescents
  1. H Wang1,6,
  2. J Necheles1,2,
  3. M Carnethon3,
  4. B Wang1,
  5. Z Li4,
  6. L Wang4,
  7. X Liu4,
  8. J Yang4,
  9. G Tang4,
  10. H Xing4,
  11. X Xu5,
  12. X Wang1
  1. 1
    Mary Ann and J Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program, Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Children’s Memorial Hospital and Children’s Memorial Research Center, Chicago, IL, USA
  2. 2
    Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA
  3. 3
    Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
  4. 4
    Institute for Biomedicine, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China
  5. 5
    Center for Population Genetics, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL, USA
  6. 6
    Department of Cardiology, FuWai Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
  1. Dr X Wang, The Mary Ann & J Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program, Children’s Memorial Research Center, 2300 Children’s Plaza - Box 157, Chicago, IL 60614, USA; xbwang{at}


Objective: To investigate the association of adiposity measures with blood pressure (BP) in Chinese children and adolescents.

Design: A cross-sectional study.

Participants: 1330 boys and 1170 girls aged 6–18 years from a rural population-based cohort of twins studied in Anhui, China, 1998–2000.

Outcome measures: Adiposity measures included body mass index (BMI), total body fat and trunk fat assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. BMI was divided into fat mass index (FMI) and lean mass index (LMI) in the analysis. Major outcomes included: systolic (S) and diastolic (D) BP. Both linear and logistic regressions were performed to assess gender-specific associations between various adiposity measures and BP, with adjustment for age and height. Generalised estimating equations were used to account for intra-twin pair correlations.

Results: Mean BMI and percentage body fat in children aged 6–11 years were 14.9 kg/m2 and 9.7%, respectively; corresponding measures in children aged 12–18 years were 17.8 kg/m2 and 14.2%. Adiposity measures were more strongly associated with SBP (p<0.05 in all age strata) than DBP (p<0.05 only in children aged 6–11 years). Both FMI (β = 1.26–2.37) and LMI (β = 1.00–1.71) are associated with SBP across age and gender strata after adjustment for age and height (p<0.05).

Conclusions: These results indicate that, in this relatively lean population of Chinese children and adolescents, BP, particularly SBP, is positively associated with measures of adiposity. Of all the adiposity measures, BMI is the strongest predictor of BP.

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  • Funding: This study is supported in part by grant R01 HD049059, R01 HL0864619, and R01 AG032227 from the National Institute of Health and by the Food Allergy Project.

  • Competing interests: None.

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