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Secular trends in blood pressure (BP) and body mass index (BMI) during childhood and adolescence are sentinels for the future population cardiovascular disease burden. We examined trends in BP z-score (ages 9-18 years from 1999 to 2014) and BMI z-score (ages 6-18 years from 1996 to 2014) in Hong Kong, China. Overall, BP z-score fell, systolic BP from 0.08 to -0.01 in girls and from 0.31 to 0.25 in boys. However, the trends were not consistent, for both sexes, systolic BP z-score was stable from 1999, decreased slightly from 2002 to 2005 and increased slightly to 2014, diastolic BP z-score decreased slightly from 1999 to 2004 and then remained stable to 2014. In contrast, BMI z-score rose from -0.15 to -0.01 in girls and from 0.14 to 0.34 in boys, mainly during 1997 to 2010. The upper tail of the systolic (except boys) and diastolic BP distribution shifted downwards, whereas the entire BMI distribution shifted upward. BP declined slightly whereas BMI rose in Hong Kong children and adolescents during the last 20 years, with systolic BP and BMI in boys above the reference. This warrants dual action in tackling rising BMI and identifying favorable determinants of BP, particularly targeting boys.


This article originally appeared in Scientific Reports, available at DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05133-2.

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