We sought to develop and validate a national blood pressure (BP) reference based on age, sex, and height for Chinese children. Data were obtained on 197 430 children aged 7 to 17 who participated in the Chinese National Survey on Students' Constitution and Health in 2010. BP percentiles were estimated and fitted using the lambda, mu, and sigma method and then compared with a US reference and China existing reference. In an external independent validation sample of 59 653 children aged 7 to 18 from 7 Chinese provinces in 2013, the prevalence of elevated BP was compared applying the 3 references. BP values were similar for boys and girls at the younger ages (7-13 years) and lower height percentiles, whereas higher at the older ages (14-17 years) for boys than girls. At medial height in boys and girls aged 7 to 13, the 50th, 90th, 95th, and 99th percentiles of BP for the new national reference were consistent with US reference and lower than current Chinese reference. In the independent sample, elevated BP prevalence, based on the new national reference, ranged from 7.8% to 18.5% among children aged 7 to 17, which was higher than the US reference values (4.3%-14.5%) and lower than the current Chinese reference (12.9%-25.5%) in each age group. The new national BP reference for Chinese children based on age, sex, and height from large-scale and nationally representative data seems to improve the ability for identifying Chinese hypertensive children and for stratifying them with regard to cardiovascular risk.
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