KIDS AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
ANCHOR LEAD: MORE KIDS HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE THAN ANYONE EVER SUSPECTED, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
High blood pressure is an unrecognized condition in millions of children, a recent study in the journal Pediatrics asserts. And just as in adults, the condition will ultimately take a toll in heart disease, stroke, and early death. Rick Lange, chief of clinical cardiology at Johns Hopkins, says making the diagnosis can be challenging.
LANGE: Part of the difficulty with determining whether a child has high blood pressure is it changes with respect to their age, it changes with respect to their height, and it changes with respect to their weight as well, so it’s not as easy as it is in adults where you expect a normal blood pressure to be 120/80, in kids you have to normalize it, that is, you have to adjust it based on their age, their weight and their height. And by the way, not only that but one has to have three successive readings to show that it’s outside the range of normal. This makes it very difficult for pediatricians to figure out when a child has high blood pressure. :31
Lange says dietary changes and weight loss will benefit the majority of kids with high blood pressure. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.