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Body composition, leg length and blood pressure in a rural Italian population: A test of the capacity-load model

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Background and aims: Whereas adult weight or body mass index (BMI) are directly associated with blood pressure (BP), birth weight is inversely associated with BP. The scenario for height is more complex, as both tall and short stature have been associated with higher BP. We used a theoretical model treating sitting height (SH) and tissue masses (fat mass, lean mass) as components of metabolic load, and leg length (LL) as a marker of homeostatic metabolic capacity. We predicted that decreased capacity and increased load would be independently associated with increased BP..Methods and results: Anthropometry, body composition (bio-electrical impedance analysis) and BP were measured in 601 adults (228 male) aged 20-91 years from three hill villages in southern Italy. Multiple regression analysis was used to investigate associations of body composition and anthropometry with BP. Adjusting for age, systolic BP (SBP) was associated with lean mass in males, and with adiposity in females, whereas diastolic BP (DBP) was associated with fat mass in both sexes. Associations of LL and SH with BP were in opposite directions. LL was inversely associated with SBP and DBP in males, with a similar trend evident in females. SH was directly associated with SBP and DBP in females, and with DBP in males.Conclusions: Consistent with our theoretical model, metabolic load is associated with increased BP, though differently between the sexes, whereas metabolic capacity is independently associated with lower BP. Our findings suggest that early growth improves hemodynamic tolerance of high metabolic load in adulthood.. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Montagnese C, Nutile T, Marphatia AA, Grijalva-Eternod CS, Siervo M, Ciullo M, Wells JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases

Year: 2014

Volume: 24

Issue: 11

Pages: 1204-1212

Print publication date: 01/11/2014

Online publication date: 28/05/2014

Acceptance date: 13/05/2014

ISSN (print): 0939-4753

ISSN (electronic): 1590-3729

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.numecd.2014.05.006

PubMed id: 24984827


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