BACKGROUND: Hypertension, even during childhood, increases the risk of developing atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, starting prevention of hypertension early in the life course could be beneficial. Prediction models might be useful for identifying children at increased risk of developing hypertension, which may enable targeted primordial prevention of cardiovascular disease.
OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of childhood prediction models for future hypertension.
METHODS: Embase and Medline were systematically searched. Studies were included that were performed in the general population, and that reported on development or validation of a multivariable model for children to predict future high blood pressure, prehypertension or hypertension. Data were extracted using the CHARMS checklist for prediction modelling studies.
RESULTS: Out of 12 780 reviewed records, six studies were included in which 18 models were presented. Five studies predicted adulthood hypertension, and one predicted adolescent prehypertension/hypertension. BMI and current blood pressure were most commonly included as predictors in the final models. Considerable heterogeneity existed in timing of prediction (from early childhood to late adolescence) and outcome measurement. Important methodological information was often missing, and in four studies information to apply the model in new individuals was insufficient. Reported area under the ROC curves ranged from 0.51 to 0.74. As none of the models were validated, generalizability could not be confirmed.
CONCLUSION: Several childhood prediction models for future hypertension were identified, but their value for practice remains unclear because of suboptimal methods, limited information on performance, or the lack of external validation. Further validation studies are indicated.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0.