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High Blood Pressure In Children

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - High blood pressure is one of the most common conditions that adults deal with but when it comes to children it is often overlooked. We don’t think about it that often, but perhaps we should.

High blood pressure is not diagnosed in 85% of children who develop the condition. The big problem with proper diagnosis is that high blood pressure varies by age, height and sex. Unlike the case in adults where we have strict guidelines for high blood pressure, in children, there are 420 different diastolic and systolic numbers that can be used depending on their age, their sex and their height.

There may be a simple solution. Scientists think it might be better to come up with a rough number for different age groups. After the children are screened, specific numbers could then be looked at and that’s something that I think is very important.
If you take medicine and make it simple, not just for the parents, but for the doctors, you’ll actually have a better chance of catching things.

Remember we need to work on prevention and that starts early.

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