The value of BP measurements and family history of cardiovascular disease in predicting future BP status was studied in 1,501 children, initially 2 to 14 years of age, who were examined four times during an 8-year period in the Bogalusa Heart Study. Correlation coefficients between year 1 and year 9 BPs were as follows for systolic and diastolic BPs, respectively: 0.41 and 0.35 (P < .0001). These correlations were significant in all age groups. For children in the upper quartile of BP at any one prior examination, the percentage remaining in the year 9 upper quartile ranged from 41% to 52% for systolic BP and 35% to 44% for diastolic BP. Three serial BP measurements in the upper quartile increased the percentages remaining in the upper quartile to 68% for systolic BP and 62% for diastolic BP. Conversely, of those children not in the upper quartile of systolic BP at year 9, 96.8% did not have all three prior measurements in the upper quartile. Family history of hypertension was shown to independently predict year 9 systolic BP status. These results confirm the importance of serial BP measurements and family history of hypertension for the practicing physician.

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