Background: Blood pressure (BP) and growth increase at an accelerated rate during puberty. The temporal relationship of the two events has not been well characterized. Objective: The purpose of this current investigation was to examine the rate of BP change in relation to pubertal growth with the intent to shed light on new mechanisms by which BP is regulated. Methods: We examined data from a cohort of 182 normotensive children who had measurements made semiannually for up to 12 yr. From the recorded heights, we identified the subject-specific pubertal growth spurt (PGS) using a growth curve model. With the estimated PGS as an anchoring point, we obtained the rates at which BP and weight changed as continuous functions of time for the duration of pubertal growth. Examining BP on a scale relative to PGS placed BP development in the context of pubertal growth. Results: Average ages at PGS were 11.5 for girls and 13.3 for boys. Fitted spline models estimated that at the time of PGS, the mean systolic BP was 100 mm Hg for girls and 107 mm Hg for boys; the mean diastolic BP at the PGS was 59 mm Hg for girls and 61 mm Hg for boys. The most intriguing observation was that rate of change in systolic BP and weight peaked at precisely the estimated PGS. Conclusion: The time synchronization of rates of change in BP, weight, and height suggests common regulating mechanisms for somatic growth and BP or growth changes that secondarily affect BP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical