Development of a prediction model to target screening for high blood pressure in children

Marleen Hamoen, Marieke Welten, Daan Nieboer, Guannan Bai, Martijn W. Heymans, Jos W. R. Twisk, Hein Raat, Yvonne Vergouwe, Alet H. Wijga, Marlou L. A. de Kroon

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Targeted screening for childhood high blood pressure may be more feasible than routine blood pressure measurement in all children to avoid unnecessary harms, overdiagnosis or costs. Targeting maybe based e.g. on being overweight, but information on other predictors may also be useful. Therefore, we aimed to develop a multivariable diagnostic prediction model to select children aged 9–10 years for blood pressure measurement. Data from 5359 children in a population-based prospective cohort study were used. High blood pressure was defined as systolic or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 95th percentile for gender, age, and height. Logistic regression with backward selection was used to identify the strongest predictors related to pregnancy, child, and parent characteristics. Internal validation was performed using bootstrapping. 227 children (4.2%) had high blood pressure. The diagnostic model included maternal hypertensive disease during pregnancy, maternal BMI, maternal educational level, parental hypertension, parental smoking, child birth weight standard deviation score (SDS), child BMI SDS, and child ethnicity. The area under the ROC curve was 0.73, compared to 0.65 when using only child overweight. Using the model and a cut-off of 5% for predicted risk, sensitivity and specificity were 59% and 76%; using child overweight only, sensitivity and specificity were 47% and 84%. In conclusion, our diagnostic prediction model uses easily obtainable information to identify children at increased risk of high blood pressure, offering an opportunity for targeted screening. This model enables to detect a higher proportion of children with high blood pressure than a strategy based on child overweight only.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105997
JournalPreventive Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

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