Wednesday, August 22, 2007

High Blood Pressure in Children

A new study released authored by David Kaelber in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reports that more than a million American children have undiagnosed high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure puts children at risk for developing organ damage later in life and possibly early artery and heart damage.

The researchers looked at 14,187 healthy children aged 3 to 18 in northeast Ohio. Using the blood pressure, height and weight recorded at 3 separate doctor visits over the last few years, they calculated 3.6% had high blood pressure. Of those patients that did have high blood pressure, only 2.5% had the condition diagnosed.

Extrapolating the results for the whole U.S. population, doctors believe that 1.5 million children have undiagnosed high blood pressure. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend having blood pressure at every doctor visit. If you child is overweight, make sure your doctor takes the next step to calculate if it's too high.

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