The association between “leg length to height ratio” and blood pressure in peri-adolescents
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Background: Hypertension has a high prevalence in adults, and is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Children and adolescents with higher levels of blood pressure tend to have high blood pressures as adults. Identifying children with higher levels of blood pressure would be critical for effectively implementing preventive measures among them. Stature components have been found to be associated with the risk of CVD in adults and some CVD risk factors in children. A few studies have found an association between leg length to height ratio (LLHR) and blood pressure in children; however, none of these studies have been in Canada. Objective: To ascertain the relationship between leg length to height ratio and blood pressure in Canadian youth. Methods: This cross- sectional analysis was done using data from the Heart Behavioural Environment Assessment Team (HBEAT) study, which was conducted with students from Niagara Catholic District School Board. Blood pressure and stature components of 689 students between the ages of 9-14 years were included for the analysis. The height range was 106.3 cm to 178.5 cm, and the blood pressure range was 67 mmHg to 142 mmHg for systolic blood pressure, and 30 mmHg to 96 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure. Regression models were used to examine relationships between LLHR and blood pressures. Results: In the regression analyses, for every one standard deviation increment in LLHR, the systolic, diastolic, pulse pressure, and mean arterial pressure were on average 1.08 mmHg (p<0.01), 0.88mmHg (p<0.01), 0.20mmHg and 0.95mmHg (p<0.01) lower after adjusting for selected covariates. Conclusion: Inverse relationships between LLHR and systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure have been observed among Canadian youth. However, whether this can be used to predict the future risk of high blood pressure among children with a lower LLHR needs further studies.