As body mass index increases, blood pressure may as well

August 17, 2018, Yale University
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Body mass index is positively associated with blood pressure, according to the ongoing study of 1.7 million Chinese men and women being conducted by researchers at the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) and in China. These findings appear in the Aug. 17 issue of JAMA Network Open.

In individuals who were not taking an antihypertensive medication, the researchers observed an increase of 0.8 to 1.7 mm Hg (kg/m2) in pressure per additional unit of (BMI). Overall, the population had a mean BMI of 24.7 and a mean of 136.5, which qualifies as stage I hypertension according to American Heart Association guidelines.

Researchers recorded the participants' blood pressure from September 2014 through June 2017 as part of the larger China Patient-Centered Evaluative Assessment of Cardiac Events (PEACE) Million Persons Project, which captures at least 22,000 subgroups of people based on age (35-80), sex, race/ethnicity, geography, occupation, and other pertinent characteristics—such as whether or not they are on antihypertensive medication.

"The enormous size of the dataset—the result of an unprecedented effort in China—allows us to characterize this relationship between BMI and blood pressure across tens of thousands of subgroups, which simply would not be possible in a smaller study," explained George Linderman, first author and doctoral candidate at Yale.

In China, the frequency of obesity is expected to more than triple in men—from 4.0% in 2010 to 12.3% in 2025—and more than double in women—from 5.2% to 10.8%. Meanwhile, high blood pressure already affects one-third of Chinese adults, and only about one in 20 of those with hypertension have the condition under control, according to an earlier Yale-CORE China paper for the Lancet based on data gathered in the same Million Persons Project cohort.

"If trends in overweight and obesity continue in China, the implication of our study is that hypertension, already a major risk factor, is likely to become even more important," said Harlan Krumholz, M.D., the Harold H. Hines, Jr. Professor of Cardiology, director of CORE, and senior author on the study. "This paper is ringing the bell that the time is now to focus on these risk factors."

According to the researchers, one way for the Chinese healthcare system to address these risk factors would be the management of with antihypertensive drugs. A January 2018 study by Yale-CORE China compared the widespread and successful use of in the United States for blood management to their infrequent use in China, suggesting that by prescribing antihypertensives earlier and more frequently, China might begin to take control of its high crisis, say the researchers.

Explore further: China's out of control 'silent killer' affects one-third of adults

More information: JAMA Network Open, DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.1271

Related Stories

China's out of control 'silent killer' affects one-third of adults

October 26, 2017
More than one-third of adults in China have high blood pressure —often dubbed the "silent killer" for its lack of symptoms—but only about one in 20 have the condition under control. These findings are published Oct. 25 ...

Preventing, controlling hypertension could reduce China's high stroke rate

February 20, 2018
While in the United States heart disease is the leading cause of death, in China it is stroke. People have speculated for years about why the Chinese are predisposed to stroke to a greater extent than heart disease. Some ...

New guidelines label millions more people as having high blood pressure

July 11, 2018
Adopting new guidelines for high blood pressure (hypertension) would dramatically increase the number of people labeled as having the condition and being recommended for drug treatment, finds a study published by The BMJ ...

Most black adults have high blood pressure before age 55

July 11, 2018
Approximately 75 percent of black and men women are likely to develop high blood pressure by the age of 55, compared to 55 percent of white men and 40 percent of white women in the same age range, according to new research ...

Controlling blood pressure even when older can prevent dementia in African Americans

April 9, 2018
Controlling blood pressure with any of the commonly prescribed antihypertensive medications can prevent dementia in older African-Americans with hypertension according to a new study from Regenstrief Institute researchers.

Recommended for you

Study reveals a promising alternative to corticosteroids in acute renal failure treatment

September 21, 2018
A protein produced by the human body appears to be a promising new drug candidate to treat conditions that lead to acute renal failure. This is shown by a study conducted at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in São José ...

Can a common heart condition cause sudden death?

September 20, 2018
About one person out of 500 has a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This condition causes thickening of the heart muscle and results in defects in the heart's electrical system. Under conditions ...

New drugs could reduce risk of heart disease when added to statins

September 20, 2018
New drugs that lower levels of triglycerides (a type of fat) in blood could further reduce the risk of heart attack when added to statins. These new drugs, which are in various stages of development, could also reduce blood ...

Mediterranean-style diet may lower women's stroke risk

September 20, 2018
Following a Mediterranean-style diet may reduce stroke risk in women over 40 but not in men—according to new research led by the University of East Anglia.

Inflammation critical for preventing heart attacks and strokes, study reveals

September 19, 2018
Inflammation, long considered a dangerous contributor to atherosclerosis, actually plays an important role in preventing heart attacks and strokes, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine reveals.

People who walk just 35 minutes a day may have less severe strokes

September 19, 2018
People who participate in light to moderate physical activity, such as walking at least four hours a week or swimming two to three hours a week, may have less severe strokes than people who are physically inactive, according ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.