(HealthDay News) – For children and adolescents, sodium intake is associated with systolic blood pressure (SBP) and the risk for pre-high blood pressure (pre-HBP) and HBP, according to a study published online Sept 17 in Pediatrics.

Quanhe Yang, PhD, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the association between dietary sodium intake and blood pressure using data from 6,235 children and adolescents (aged 8–18 years) who participated in the National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2008.

The researchers found that the participants consumed an average of 3,387 mg of sodium per day, and 37% were overweight/obese. Each 1,000 mg per day sodium intake was linked to a 0.097 increase in the standard deviation score for SBP among all participants and a 0.141 increase for overweight/obese participants. There was a progressive increase in mean adjusted SBP with sodium intake quartile, from 106.2–108.8 mmHg for all participants (P=0.01) and from 109–112.8 mmHg among overweight/obese participants (P=0.037). There was an increased adjusted odds ratio for pre-HBP/HBP for those with the highest vs. the lowest quartile of sodium intake (2 for all participants [P=0.062] and 3.5 for overweight/obese participants [P=0.013]). There was a synergistic effect seen for sodium intake and weight status on the risk for pre-HBP/HBP (relative excess risk for interaction, 0.29; P<0.05)

“Sodium intake is positively associated with SBP and risk for pre-HBP/HPB among U.S. children and adolescents, and this association may be stronger among those who are overweight/obese,” Yang and colleagues conclude.

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