A new study highlights the importance of weight control throughout life to control blood pressure. The study also reports low birthweight and low socio-economic status during childhood can also contribute to higher blood pressure in the future.
Researchers have suggested the negative effect of birthweight on systolic blood pressure may be initiated in utero and amplified with age. Researchers from Royal Free and University College of Medicine in London conducted a study to look at birthweight, weight throughout life, and socio-economic status to determine how they affect blood pressure.
More than 3,640 people born in Britain in 1946 were included in the analysis. The participants' systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured at ages 36, 43 and 53 years old. Researchers also had data on the participants' birth weight and childhood social class.
Researchers report a consistent negative association between birthweight and systolic blood pressure from age 36 to 53 years old. Researchers also say those in a lower socio-economic class in childhood had higher blood pressure levels. Study authors say this difference was largely the result of an increased body mass index over the years.
Study authors conclude weight control throughout life is key to prevention of raised blood pressure during middle age. They add that understanding the link between early childhood socio-economic environment and adult obesity could make prevention strategies more effective.