Ethnic differences in blood pressure and heart rate of chicago school children

Sophie Levinson, Kiang Liu*, Jeremiah Stamler, Rose Stamler, Ira Whipple, Doris Ausbrook, David Berkson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In 1975-1978, the Chicago Department of Health conducted a screening program that included measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight, triceps skinfold thickness, and arm circumference, and calculation of body mass index and muscle circumference for non-public school children. Based on data on 4,086 boys and girls aged 5-10 years from the program, this study examined the ethnic differences in blood pressure and heart rate among children of white, black, Latino, and Oriental ethnicity. Mean levels for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were higher for Oriental and black children than for white and Latino children. These differences were independent of age, height, weight, and skinfold thickness. The black children had a much lower mean heart rate than the other children. A seasonal variation was observed for systolic blood pressure, i.e., within each sex group, the mean systolic blood pressure adjusted for age, skinfold thickness, and height tended to be higher in spring than in fall and winter. (Note-no child was screened during the summer because of summer break.) With control for season, ethnic differences in systolic blood pressure disappeared, but not the ethnic differences in diastolic blood pressure and heart rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-377
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1985


  • Blood pressure
  • Ethnic groups
  • Heart rate
  • Seasons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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