Acquire the license to the best health content in the world
Contact Us

Children's Blood Pressure on the Rise in United States

After decades of decline, obesity is pushing blood pressure back up again

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of high blood pressure and pre-high blood pressure among U.S. children and adolescents is on the rise, which may result in an increased risk of early organ damage and cardiovascular disease, according to study findings published online Sept. 10 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Rebecca Din-Dzietham, M.D., Ph.D., of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed national data from 1963 to 2002 on 8- to 17-year-old children. They found that from 1963 to 1988 blood pressure rates trended downward, but then began to rise again through to 2002.

Between 1988 and 1999, there was a 2.3 percent increase in pre-high blood pressure and a 1 percent increase in high blood pressure. Obesity in general, and abdominal obesity in particular, partially explained the increase.

Ethnic and gender gaps also emerged. Rates of both high blood pressure and pre-high blood pressure were greater among males than females, and among non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans compared with non-Hispanic whites.

"This is a major public health problem," said Din-Dzietham, in a statement. "Unless this upward trend in high blood pressure is reversed, we could be facing an explosion of new cardiovascular disease cases in young adults and adults."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing