Background: Cardiovascular health can be directly approximated by newly-available vascular function measures, but lack of population norms limits their value. Furthermore, concordance of these measures between parents and children is largely unknown, limiting use in risk stratification of family members. This study aimed to determine (1) normative distributions of vascular function parameters in Victorian children and parents, and (2) child-parent concordance of vascular function.
Methods: Design/participants: A cross-sectional survey of 320 Victorian children aged 11-12 years and their accompanying parent, as part of the Child Health CheckPoint study. Measures: Blood pressure - systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), aortic SBP (aSBP), aortic DBP (aDBP), central mean arterial pressure (MAP), central pulse pressure (PP). Arterial stiffness - augmentation index (AIx), carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV). Parent-child associations were assessed with Pearson correlation coefficients, followed by partial correlations adjusted for potential confounders - age, sex, height, weight and socio-economic disadvantage.
Results: All measures were normally distributed. In adults the mean ± standard deviation of SBP was 120±13mmHg, DBP 73±9mmHg, aSBP 108±12mmHg, aDBP 73±9mmHg, PP 35±6mmHg, MAP 86±11mmHg, AIx 20.18±11.20% and cfPWV 6.69±1.08m/s. In children SBP was 107±8mmHg, DBP 62±5mmHg, aSBP 92±7mmHg, aDBP 63±6mmHg, PP 29±5mmHg, MAP 76±6mmHg, AIx 4.53±11.94% and cfPWV 4.27±0.48m/s. The proportion of adults and children in the hypertensive range were 9% and 3%, respectively. There was little evidence of child-parent concordance across the measures, with the exception of weak correlations for PP, AIx and cfPWV.
Conclusions: These population values forkey cardiovascular risk factors may provide a benchmark against which to judge future preventative public health initiatives. The child-parent correlations for PP, AIx and cfPWV indicate that mechanistic and larger-scale heritability studies are needed to determine how arterial stiffness is transmitted between generations and when in the life-course peripheral blood pressures also becomes concordant.