Advertisement

New guidelines likely to identify more children with high blood pressure

By widening guidelines on treatment for high blood pressure in children, researchers say they can better predict who is more likely to develop heart disease -- and to help them prevent it.

By Tauren Dyson
New guidelines likely to identify more children with high blood pressure
Researchers saythat children can manage their high blood pressure with exercise, better diet and other lifestyle changes. Photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Smoot/U.S. Air Force

April 19 (UPI) -- After a revision of older guidelines, more children have high blood pressure, putting them at higher risk for developing heart disease when they reach adulthood -- though experts say that could help them prevent development of the condition.

About 11 percent of kids have high blood pressure compared to only 7 percent using the 2004 guidelines set by the organization, according to new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Those findings were published in the Bogalusa Heart Study.

Advertisement

"After reviewing years of information from the Bogalusa Heart Study, we concluded that compared with children with normal blood pressure, those reclassified as having elevated or high blood pressure were more likely to develop adult high blood pressure, thickening of the heart muscle wall and the metabolic syndrome -- all risk factors for heart disease," Lydia Bazzano, a researcher at Tulane University and study senior author, said in news release.

In a follow-up, 19 percent of kids considered to have high blood pressure under the new guidelines went on to have thickened heart muscles.

RELATED CPAP extends life for obese people with sleep apnea

About 1.3 million people between ages 12 and 19 have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Advertisement

The good news, the researchers say, is that children can manage their high blood pressure with exercise, better diet and other lifestyle changes.

"For most children with high blood pressure that is not caused by a separate medical condition or a medication, lifestyle changes are the cornerstone of treatment," Bazzano said. "It's important to maintain a normal weight, avoid excess salt, get regular physical activity and eat a healthy diet that is high in fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, lean protein and limited in salt, added sugars, saturated -- trans -- fats to reduce blood pressure."

RELATED Workplace wellness programs largely ineffective, study says

RELATED Lower cholesterol may raise stroke risk for women, study says

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement