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Influence of seasonal variation on blood pressure measurements in children, adolescents and young adults

Abstract

Background

Seasonal fluctuations in outdoor temperature have been shown to affect blood pressure in adults. The aim of our study was to determine whether blood pressure measurements in children and adolescents in Central Europe undergo seasonal variation or are influenced by outdoor temperature.

Methods

The blood pressure of 6,714 subjects (3,497 boys, 3,237 girls) aged 3 to 21 (median age 10.6) years was routinely measured. The study cohort comprised both healthy and sick children and adolescents visiting outpatient clinics and during hospitalisation.

Results

Cross-sectional analysis showed a significant seasonal variation in blood pressure measurements. The mean increase of systolic/diastolic blood pressure was 4.45/2.42 mmHg during the winter. A significant correlation between average outdoor temperature and systolic blood pressure was found (ρ = −0.074 p < 0.001). However, the effect was only detectable at an average temperature below 0 °C/32 °F and above 10 °C/50 °F. For each 1 °C increase in average outdoor temperature, the systolic blood pressure fell by 0.12 mmHg.

Conclusions

Blood pressure measurements in children and adolescents, even in a temperate climate, are influenced by temperature and subject to seasonal variation. Considering seasonal variations in blood pressure could be of clinical interest.

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Acknowledgements

We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the participating physicians, colleagues, nurses and scientists. We are indebted to the children and their parents for their patience.

Funding sources

The original setup of CrescNet was supported by unrestricted educational grants from Merck Serono, Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer and Ipsen. This support is gratefully acknowledged. This work was supported by grants from the Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig, Leipziger Forschungszentrum für Zivilisationserkrankungen (LIFE), the Kompetenznetz Adipositas Leipzig (LARGE) and BMBF, Berlin. Wieland Kiess is also supported by grants from LIFE-Research Centre, Leipzig and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

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Correspondence to Wieland Kiess.

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Miersch, A., Vogel, M., Gausche, R. et al. Influence of seasonal variation on blood pressure measurements in children, adolescents and young adults. Pediatr Nephrol 28, 2343–2349 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00467-013-2562-0

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Keywords

  • High potential
  • Seasonal variation
  • Climate
  • Temperature
  • Paediatrics
  • Middle Europe