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Waist circumference and blood pressure in Brazilian children.

AIM: We aimed to examine the association between waist circumference and blood pressure (BP) in children at 9 years of age.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of 142 children enrolled in a cohort study conducted at the participants' homes in southern Brazil. SBP and DBP were measured using the auscultatory method. Waist circumference was measured with a 150-cm flexible tape. Logistic regression adjusted for important covariates was used to examine the association between waist circumference and BP.

RESULTS: The prevalence of high BP in children was 20.4%. High BP was more prevalent in males (69.0%). The average SBP/DBP on the right arm was 98/60 mmHg in females and 101/62 mmHg in males. An important proportion of children was classified as having high BP and BMI (44.8%) and waist circumference (50.0%) > 85th percentile (P < 0.01). Logistic regression analysis showed that children with high BMI and waist circumference were 3.91 (95% confidence interval, 1.31-11.71, P = 0.015) times more likely to have high BP than those ≤85th percentile, even after adjusting for other covariates.

CONCLUSION: This study revealed that waist circumference was associated with both SBP and DBP in 9-year-old children and increased waist circumference was the determining factor of cardiovascular risk.

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