Kids and high blood pressure - Is your pediatrician screening your child?
Posted on Jun 10, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera
High blood pressure and children are usually not something we think about in the same sentence. Most parents would not worry about their child having high blood pressure because we think this is an adult disease.These facts about hypertension in children may surprise you:
- High blood pressure affects as many as 4 million children in the U.S.
- More frequent and more severe in black families than in whites.
- If untreated, can lead to heart failure and death.
- Risk factors include obesity and having a parent with high blood pressure.
- It's a condition that doctors often fail to diagnose
Here are some recommendations for your child's next pediatric visit.
- All children age 3 and older should have annual blood pressure checks.
- Doctors should evaluate the readings with charts that indicate normal blood pressure by age, gender and height.
- Because children can squirm and also have very small arms, it is recommended that pediatricians obtain three blood pressure readings during a visit and average them.
Exercise and a healthy high fiber diet is good for the whole family!A 2007 study by Harvard researchers found that doctors fail to diagnose high blood pressure in more than three-quarters of children with the problem.Source: Johns HopkinsResources: Keeping your child heart healthy