The effect of body mass index on blood pressure varies by race among children

Obesity in black children more severely impacts blood pressure than in white children who are equally overweight, according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Researchers examined the effect of age and body weight on blood pressure in children at an obesity clinic. While age and body weight were similar among black and white patients, black children had significantly higher blood pressure compared to their white counterparts.

On average, the black children's blood pressure was 8 percent higher than white children. This suggests that obesity affects blood pressure more in black children. The researchers said further research is needed to better understand this race-specific effect, as it could lead to better care and more targeted against in black children.

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