High blood pressure is always linked to adults, but most of us are not aware that children of all ages, from infants to teens, can become victims to high blood pressure. Similar to BP in adults, there are not much symptoms attached to blood pressure in children and early diagnosis and treatment help reduce the associated risks.
Unlike blood pressure ranges in adults where one BP reading fits all, the meaning of ‘normal’ is relative here. The physician calculates the right blood pressure ranges based on factors such as gender, age and height. An average systolic or diastolic blood pressure level that is in the 95th percentile or greater depending on at least 3 separate readings is defined as hypertension. Find the various hypertension stages tabulated below:
Factors that Trigger High Blood Pressure in Children
High blood pressure in children can spring up due to various risk factors or it can be secondary hypertension, due to some other health condition.
Secondary Hypertension in Children: Few diseases such as thyroid problems, heart problems, kidney problems, certain tumors and sleep apnea and certain medications can instigate high blood pressure in kids.
Lifestyle Factors: Family history, overweight/obesity, race and age are contributing risk factors. Heavier and sexually mature teenagers usually have higher blood pressure levels. Research indicates that, obese teenagers who have increased blood pressure values may develop thicker arteries by age 30.
While overweight/obesity are greatly associated with BP, family history of hypertension or CVD, male sex and maternal smoking during pregnancy are additional risk factors. Breastfed kids are at a lower risk of hypertension.
Treatment includes a combination of lifestyle factors (diet, weight management and exercise) and medications (if physician prescribes so). Following a DASH diet low in sodium, high in fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and low-fat or non-fat dairy helps to control BP levels. Read more on DASH diet and its advantages at www.firsteatright.com.
Children with hypertension may have target organ damage and are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Despite these health hazards, physicians do not recognize and diagnose the existence of hypertension in children.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.