1. In a retrospective cohort study, birth weight modified the risk of hypertension in children who were later obese or overweight.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Study Rundown: Low birth weight (LBW) is associated with an elevated risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease later in childhood and adolescence, although the pathophysiology of this association is poorly understood. In addition, there is a well-described association between obesity and hypertension. This retrospective cohort study aimed to evaluate whether birth weight modifies the association between obesity/overweight and hypertension in children aged 8 to 15 years. Over 14,000 U.S. children from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were included in the study. Researchers found that hypertension was more prevalent in patients who were overweight or obese, high birth weight, and low birth weight. Overweight or obese individuals with very low birth weight (VLBW, < 1500 g) were more likely to have hypertension compared to those with normal birth weight (prevalence ratio, 7.73, p=0.005). One major limitation of the study is that birth-related factors are not captured in this retrospective cohort, which may confound the association between birth weight and hypertension risk later in childhood and adolescence. Overall, this study suggests that close screening for hypertension is needed for children who are overweight and have a history of VLBW.
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