HealthDay News — High normal weight above the 60th percentile of body mass index (BMI) for age is associated with an increased risk for hypertension among children aged 3 to 17 years, according to a study published online March 14 in JAMA Network Open.
Corinna Koebnick, Ph.D., from Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, and colleagues examined the hypertension risk associated with high normal BMI for age and weight trajectories in a retrospective cohort study involving 801,019 youths aged 3 to 17 years.
The researchers found that the adjusted hazard ratio for hypertension within a maximum of five years was 1.26 for youths with a baseline BMI between the 60th and 84th percentiles if they maintained their BMI for age compared with those with a baseline BMI for age in the 40th to 59th percentiles. The adjusted hazard ratio increased by 1.04 for every 1-unit annual increase in the distance to median BMI for age. For youths with a baseline BMI for age in the 97th percentile or greater, weight gain increased the risk, with an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.04 per 1-unit annual increase in the distance to median BMI for age. Compared with youths living with severe obesity, the risk associated with weight change was higher in youths living with low to high normal weight and overweight.
“Under this evidence, further research should reevaluate the current wide range of body weight considered normal and related health risks of high normal weight,” the authors write.