HealthDay operates under the strictest editorial standards. Our syndicated news content is completely independent of any financial interests, is based solely on industry-respected sources and the latest scientific research, and is carefully fact-checked by a team of industry experts to ensure accuracy.
- All articles are edited and checked for factual accuracy by our Editorial Team prior to being published.
- Unless otherwise noted, all articles focusing on new research are based on studies published in peer-reviewed journals or issued from independent and respected medical associations, academic groups and governmental organizations.
- Each article includes a link or reference to the original source.
- Any known potential conflicts of interest associated with a study or source are made clear to the reader.
Please see our Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy for more detail.Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy
HealthDay Editorial Commitment
HeathDay is committed to maintaining the highest possible levels of impartial editorial standards in the content that we present on our website. All of our articles are chosen independent of any financial interests. Editors and writers make all efforts to clarify any financial ties behind the studies on which we report.
MONDAY, Oct. 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- One in every 30 children in the United States has high blood pressure. Now, new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics may help doctors screen children 3 years and older for the condition.
"We are seeing it at far younger ages than we used to," said Dr. Thomas Dispenza, a cardiologist with Penn State Children's Heart Group. "As obesity rates have risen, we have also seen more complications from it."
But "detection rates are shockingly low. Three-quarters of cases are overlooked, and that's a real problem," Dispenza said in a Penn State Health news release.
Children with high blood pressure can develop the same long-term health problems as adults. "It can set kids up for strokes later in life by damaging the blood vessels," Dispenza said.
The guidelines encourage doctors to check blood pressure at every well-child visit.
For better accuracy, medical providers should wait three to five minutes before taking a blood pressure reading, so that the patient has time to relax and calm down after arriving in an exam room. The child should also place both feet flat on the floor, with the back supported, and should avoid talking. Right arm readings are preferable.
The guidelines are intended to help identify signs that warrant further investigation, not for rendering a final diagnosis.
The academy hopes the guidelines will also assist doctors in picking up indications of other illnesses. For example, high blood pressure among children under 5 could be an indication of kidney disease or an endocrine condition. In children aged 6 and older, it may indicate hardening of the arteries.
If a high blood pressure diagnosis is made, children should be slowly transitioned to a diet that is low-sodium and composed primarily of plant-based foods (such as the DASH diet), the academy advises.
The American Heart Association has more about high blood pressure in kids.
This story may be outdated. We suggest some alternatives.
The content contained in this article is over two years old. As such our recommendation is that you reference the articles below for the latest updates on this topic. This article has been left on our site as a matter of historic record. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Updated on May 29, 2022