Background It is known that behavior in childhood is associated with certain physical and mental health problems in midlife. However, there is limited evidence on the role of childhood behavior problems in the development of hypertension in adulthood. The present study aimed to examine whether behavior problems in childhood influenced the risk of hypertension in midlife in the United Kingdom 1958 birth cohort. Methods The 1958 British birth cohort comprised 17,638 individuals born in the first week of March 1958 in the United Kingdom. Behavior problems were assessed at 7, 11, and 16 years of age by parents and teachers. At age 45, blood pressure was measured and hypertension was recorded if blood pressure was ≥140/90 mm Hg or if the participants were informed by their health professionals that they had high blood pressure. Behavioral information was reported according to the Rutter Children's Behaviour Questionnaire (RCBQ) and the Bristol Social Adjustment Guide (BSAG). Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to examine behavior problems in childhood in relation to hypertension at 45 years of age according to logistic regression analysis, with adjustment for sex, social class in childhood and adulthood, childhood cognition, birth weight, gestational age at birth, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity. Results Behavior problems reported by parents at 7, 11, and 16 years were not associated with hypertension in midlife (OR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.81, 1.07; OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.81, 1.11; OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.85, 1.12, respectively). Similarly, teacher-reported behavior problems at 7, 11, and 16 years were not associated with hypertension in midlife (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.72, 1.18; OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.84, 1.02; OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.92, 1.15, respectively). Further separate analyses showed similar results for males and females. Conclusion There is no association between behavior problems in childhood and hypertension in midlife.
Saad, S. M., Randhawa, G., & Pang, D. (2016). Absence of association between behavior problems in childhood and hypertension in midlife. PLoS ONE, 11(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0167831