Trends in Elevated Blood Pressure among US Children and Adolescents: 1999-2012

Bo Xi, Tao Zhang, Meixian Zhang, Fangchao Liu, Xinnan Zong, Min Zhao, Youfa Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND The prevalence of elevated blood pressure (BP) has been reported to increase significantly among the US children and adolescents from 1988-1994 to 1999-2008. We aimed to examine the recent trends in BP levels and prevalence of elevated BP, as well as related influencing factors among US children and adolescents. METHODS Data of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2012 were combined into 3 time periods (1999-2002, 2003-2008, and 2009-2012) for the analysis. A total of 14,270 US children and adolescents aged 8-17 years were included in the current analysis. The sex-, age-, and height-BP standards recommended by the US Fourth Report were used to define high BP and elevated BP (including pre-HBP and HBP). RESULTS Mean systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) decreased by 0.7 and 4.2mm Hg from 1999-2002 to 2009-2012, respectively. In 2009-2012, the prevalence of elevated BP and HBP in children and adolescents were 9.6% and 1.6%, with the absolute reduction of 2.8% and 1.3% from 1999-2002 to 2009-2012, respectively. In addition, daily intakes of total energy, carbohydrate, total saturated fatty acids, and caffeine decreased during the period between 1999-2002 and 2009-2012 (all P < 0.05), whereas daily intake of total polyunsaturated fatty acids and dietary fiber increased (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS Mean BP levels as well as the prevalence of elevated BP and HBP among US children and adolescents have declined during the past decade. In addition, there might be an associated change in dietary factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • blood pressure
  • children
  • elevated blood pressure
  • hypertension
  • trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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