Pediatric hypertension has been recognized as an important health issue over the past years. In children though the etiology of hypertension is predominantly secondary, the prevalence of primary hypertension has been increasing at an alarming rate, particularly in adolescents and older children.
The prevalence of hypertension in children increases with increasing body mass index percentile, placing obese children at three times higher risk of becoming hypertensive. It has been shown that weight loss by itself can decrease blood pressure and other associated cardiovascular risk factors should also be expected to regress or improve with weight loss. Dietary changes can involve portion-size control, decrease in consumption of sugar-containing beverages, energy-dense snacks, increase in consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, stopping smoking and abstinence from alcohol use. Secondary hypertension due to specific conditions can be controlled and treated successfully by appropriate timely interventions both surgical and nonsurgical.
Pediatric hypertension is a serious disease that should be neither overlooked nor ignored. The evaluation and treatment of hypertension in childhood has continued to evolve over the past four decades. There is a great need to diagnose and treat hypertension when it develops in childhood to decrease the risk of cardiovascular morbidity in adulthood.
How to cite this article
Vijayalakshmi IB, Narasimhan C. Hypertension in Children and Adolescents. Hypertens J 2015;1(2):88-93.