Weight status, cardiorespiratory fitness and high blood pressure relationship among 5-12 years old Chinese primary school children

Miranda Pallan, Tania Griffin, Kar Cheng, Bai Li, Peymane Adab

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Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and adiposity contribute to high blood pressure (HBP) in adults and children. However, their relative importance as risk factors is unknown. We examined the relationships between weight status, CRF and HBP among Chinese primary school children. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 4926 school children aged 5–12 years. CRF was estimated from a modified Cooper test, body mass index z-scores and weight categories were calculated from objective height and weight measurements, and BP was measured using an electronic sphygmomanometer. HBP was defined as >95th percentile based on reference cut-offs for Chinese boys and girls. Generalized Linear Mixed Models, adjusting for age, pubertal status and height, were developed for boys and girls to explore the independent and combined associations between fitness, weight status and HBP. 752 (15.3%) children had HBP, with a higher prevalence in obese (40.5% and 45.9% in boys and girls respectively) and overweight (27.6% and 30.2%) compared with non-overweight (9.0% and 13.8%) children. HBP prevalence was lower in boys with higher CRF (OR for highest vs. lowest CRF quartile in boys 0.64; 95%CI 0.46-0.89). This association was not seen in girls. With weight status and CRF in the same model, weight status, but not CRF, remained significantly associated with HBP (obesity in boys: OR 4.19; 95%CI 2.63-6.67; in girls: OR 2.49; 95%CI 1.19-5.19). The interaction effect for CRF and weight status was non-significant. Overweight/obesity was significantly associated with HBP among children. There was no evidence of modification of this relationship by CRF. Keywords: Blood pressure; Cardiorespiratory fitness; Obesity, School children, China
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Early online date14 Sept 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sept 2017


  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Obesity
  • School children
  • China


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