A prospective study of familial aggregation of blood pressure in young children

Dawn K. Wilson, Lisa M. Klesges, Robert C. Klesges, Linda H. Eck, Catherine A. Hackett-Renner, Bruce S. Alpert, Edith T. Dalton

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18 Scopus citations


In a prospective study, we evaluated familial aggregation of blood pressure in a sample of 175 normotensive familes with children 3 to 6 yr old. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements of parents and children were correlated at 1, 2, and 3 yr intervals. Spearman rank-order correlation coefficients between parents and children were significant for mother-son pairs. In particular, mother-son blood pressure correlation coefficients were significant for systolic blood pressure across all 3 yr and for diastolic blood pressure during yr 2. Further analyses were performed adjusting for body mass index (BMI), age, physical activity, sodium intake, potassium intake, and parental smoking status, and alcohol use. The Spearman correlation coefficients for mother-son pairs remained significant for yr 1 and 3 after adjusting for these blood pressure correlates. These results are consistent with cross-sectional studies and suggest that both genetic and environmental contributions to blood pressure status are important in young children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-969
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1992


  • Blood pressure
  • Children
  • Familial aggregation
  • Physical activity
  • dietary intake


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