Too many youth have high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Youth with obesity had the highest prevalence of hypertension. High blood pressure in youth is linked to health problems later in life. The good news is that high blood pressure is preventable and treatable.
High Blood Pressure in Teens: Causes and Treatment
Causes and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Teens
Researchers examined the natural history of the development of blood pressure from adolescence to young adulthood in 23, boys and 3, girls from average age 17 to 42 years, with regular and repeated readings of blood pressure and body mass index BMI. Previously, systolic blood pressures the top number in a blood pressure reading of , and were considered within the normal range for adolescents, researchers said. However, the study found that elevations in blood pressure within the normal range can be consistent with pre-hypertension and represent higher risk of developing hypertension in early adulthood 20s and 30s. During the follow-up period, 14 percent, or 3, people, developed hypertension. Researchers examined the interaction between BMI and blood pressure, because of concerns about the current epidemic of overweight and obesity. For girls, only the sub-group considered obese had substantially higher risk of high blood pressure. The sex hormone estrogen may protect against hypertension, explaining the sex differences researchers said.
High Blood Pressure in Children and Teens
Teenagers with high blood pressure appear to have better psychological adjustment and enjoy higher quality of life than those with normal blood pressure, suggests a study in the May issue of Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine , the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society. The authors speculate on some possible reasons for their surprising results -- including "repressed emotions" or even a "stress-dampening effect" of high blood pressure hypertension. The researchers analyzed data on blood pressure, quality of life, and psychological distress in approximately 7, teenagers from a German nationwide study. Overall
Hypertension is commonly thought of as an "adult disease," but an increasing number of teenagers and younger children are falling prey to the condition. Teens in the U. As a result, rates of high blood pressure among this group have grown at a rapidly increasing rate over the last two decades. According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension , just over 1 percent of American children between 8 and 17 have high blood pressure, while over 6 percent roughly one out of 15 have clinical prehypertension. It was once believed that high blood pressure in teens was largely related to an underlying problem with the heart or kidneys.