Purpose: This study aimed to examine the independent associations of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and body fatness with resting blood pressure (BP) in children (9–11 yr) and adolescents (12–15 yr) in Benue State of Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 3243 children (n = 1017) and adolescents (n = 2226) were evaluated for aerobic fitness, body fatness, resting preexercise BP and recovery BP at minutes 1, 5, and 10 after a progressive aerobic cardiovascular endurance run test. Regression models, controlling for age and recovery BP at 1, 5, and 10 min after the progressive aerobic cardiovascular endurance run, determined the associations of independent variables with the dependent variables.
Results: Fatness and fitness were independent predictors of resting BP among participants, and the relationship of fatness with BP was more robust in adolescents than in children. In all cases, the relationships were stronger in boys than in girls. Combined fitness and fatness in predicting BP was modest (R2 = 1%–3%) after controlling for age and postexercise BP. Postexercise BP was a major determinant of resting BP in both groups (R2 = 23%–93%). In adolescents, fatter boys had 1.9 times likelihood of systolic HTN compared with leaner peers. Systolic and diastolic BP scores varied by fit–fat groups, the fit–low-fat group demonstrated the most favorable BP profiles, whereas the unfit–high-fat group showed the most adverse profiles.
Conclusions: Irrespective of fatness, participants with higher CRF had more favorable BP profiles compared with their fat–unfit peers.