Our aim was to assess the association between trajectories of body-shape across the first 40 years of life and subsequent development of hypertension in a Mediterranean cohort.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
We used a group-based modeling approach to assess body shape trajectories from age 5 to 40 years, among 7514 participants included in the SUN study (1999-2016), and assessed the subsequent incidence of hypertension. To create the trajectories, we used a censored normal model as a polynomial function of age. Cox models were used to estimates hazard ratios (HR) for hypertension according to body shape trajectories. Identified trajectories were "childhood lean -mid-life increase", "childhood medium-mid-life stable", " childhood heavy -mid-life decrease", and "childhood heavy -mid-life increase" for women; and "childhood lean-mid-life increase", "childhood medium-mid-life stable", "childhood medium -mid-life increase" and "childhood heavy-mid-life stable" for men. After a follow-up of 63,068 person-years, 865 incident cases of hypertension were found. Among women, compared to those in the "childhood medium-mid-life stable" trajectory, those, in the "childhood heavy -mid-life increase" trajectory showed higher risk to develop hypertension [HR = 1.72 (1.17-2.53)]. In men, compared with those in the "childhood medium-mid-life stable" trajectory, those in the "childhood lean and childhood medium -mid-life increase" and the "childhood heavy- mid-life stable" trajectories showed higher subsequent incidence of hypertension [HR = 1.43 (1.11-1.85), HR = 1.52 (1.17-1.97) and HR = 1.56 (1.14-2.14), respectively] after adjusting for potential confounders (including age, lifestyles, dietary intake, personality traits, physical activity and sedentary behaviors).
Our results suggest that mid-life increases in body shape or maintaining a heavy body shape during early and middle life in men and childhood heavy-mid-life increase in women is associated with a higher subsequent risk of developing hypertension in this Mediterranean population.