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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Cardiovascular Journal of Africa
Title Long-term blood pressure trajectories and associations with age and body mass index among urban women in South Africa
Volume 32
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2021
Page numbers 1-7
Blood pressure (BP) is known to increase inevitably with age. Understanding the different ages at which great gains could be achieved for intervention to prevent and control BP would be of public health importance. Data collected between 2003 and 2014 from 1 969 women aged 22 to 89 years were used in this study. Growth curve models were fitted to describe intra- and inter-individual trajectories. For BP tracking, the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to measure dependency of observations from the same individual. Four patterns were identified: a slow decrease in BP with age before 30 years; a period of gradual increase in midlife up to 60 years; a flattening and slightly declining trend; and another increase in BP in advanced age. These phases persisted but at slightly lower levels after adjustment for body mass index. Three groups of increasing trajectories were identified. The respective number (%) in the low, medium and highly elevated BP groups were 1 386 (70.4%), 482 (24.5%) and 101 (5.1%) for systolic BP; and 1 167 (59.3%), 709 (36.0%) and 93 (4.7%) for diastolic BP. The ICC was strong at 0.71 and 0.79 for systolic and diastolic BP, respectively. These results show that BP preventative and control measures early in life would be beneficial for control later in life, and since increase in body mass index may worsen hypertension, it should be prevented early and independently.

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