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Risk of Target Organ Damage in Children With Primary Ambulatory Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Hypertension 2023 Februrary 22
BACKGROUND: Target organ damage (TOD) such as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), abnormal pulse wave velocity, and elevated carotid intima-media thickness are common among adults with hypertension and are associated with overt cardiovascular events. The risk of TOD among children and adolescents with hypertension confirmed by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is poorly understood. In this systematic review, we compare the risks of TOD among children and adolescents with ambulatory hypertension to normotensive individuals.

METHODS: A literature search was conducted to include all relevant English-language publications from January 1974 to March 2021. Studies were included if patients underwent 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and ≥1 TOD was reported. Ambulatory hypertension was defined by society guidelines. Primary outcome was the risk of TOD, including LVH, left ventricular mass index, pulse wave velocity, and carotid intima-media thickness among children with ambulatory hypertension compared with those with ambulatory normotension. Meta-regression calculated the effect of body mass index on TOD.

RESULTS: Of 12 252 studies, 38 (n=3609 individuals) were included for analysis. Children with ambulatory hypertension had an increased risk of LVH (odds ratio, 4.69 [95% CI, 2.69-8.19]), elevated left ventricular mass index (pooled difference, 5.13 g/m2.7 ; [95% CI, 3.78-6.49]), elevated pulse wave velocity (pooled difference, 0.39 m/s [95% CI, 0.20-0.58]), and elevated carotid intima-media thickness (pooled difference, 0.04 mm [95% CI, 0.02-0.05]), compared with normotensive children. Meta-regression showed a significant positive effect of body mass index on left ventricular mass index and carotid intima-media thickness.

CONCLUSIONS: Children with ambulatory hypertension have adverse TOD profiles, which may increase their risk for future cardiovascular disease. This review highlights the importance of optimizing blood pressure control and screening for TOD in children with ambulatory hypertension.

REGISTRATION: URL:; Unique identifier: CRD42020189359.

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