Many of wonder if--- children can really have hypertension? Is hypertension a serious problem in children? Does it need to be treated? Hypertension, or high blood pressure, in children and adolescents is rare.
Studies have shown that the rate of hypertension or high blood pressure is increasing in children. In the 1980 hypertension was found in approximately 1 percent of children where about 5 percent children show evidence of high blood pressure (BP) now days. Experts say that obesity is a major reason for increase in rate of hypertension in children.
If a child has hypertension it sparks off an intense search for an underlying cause. Unlike in adults who have mostly essential or primary hypertension most children have secondary hypertension.
Some of the common causes of hypertension in children are
Children can also develop essential or primary hypertension.
Many times pediatricians may miss hypertension in children as there is no one single number like 120/80 mmHg above which it is called hypertension like in adults. Several factors decide if a certain blood pressure reading is normal or elevated like---the age of the child, height and weight of the child. These are used to determine if a child has an elevated blood pressure.
Hypertension in children in more likely to diagnosed if
Blood pressure should be measured at least a three different occasions if a reading is high. This is done to determine if it’s a truly sustained elevation due to hypertension or a false high reading as the blood pressure can vary.
If your child has symptoms like bloody nose, headache, nausea and vomiting consult a pediatrician to know if these may be related to hypertension. But like adults most children with hypertension have no symptoms. Parents are usually taken by surprise when their child is diagnosed with high blood pressure. Many parents tend to ignore high blood pressure if the child is healthy seems to be doing fine.
Early and appropriate treatment of hypertension is essential in children as well.