By Dr. Brian McDonough

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Certain children develop what is called primary hypertension. Essentially they develop high blood pressure at a young age. This is unusual, but it is one of the main reasons why we regularly check children’s blood pressure.

We need to detect it early, because, if we don’t, the long-term damage of high blood pressure could appear at younger ages.

Now there is news from the Journal of Pediatrics which finds that children with untreated primary hypertension turned in lower scores on tests measuring verbal and visual learning, and recall and verbal reasoning.

They looked at 75 children, ages 10-18, who had been newly diagnosed with untreated hypertension, and matched them with 75 children with normal blood pressure.

The message here is clear: make sure you have a child’s blood pressure screened and have it controlled if it is high. If you look at the big picture, it also shows why adults with high blood pressure need to have it controlled.

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