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New AHA Statement on Pediatric Primary Hypertension

4 Apr 2023 • Amplified by the childhood obesity epidemic, primary hypertension is now the leading type of pediatric hypertension, especially in adolescence, yet the condition is "underrecognized," the American Heart Association (AHA) says in a new scientific statement. The AHA statement on primary pediatric hypertension was published online on March 30th.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), European Society of Hypertension and Hypertension Canada all define hypertension as repeated BP readings at or above the 95th percentile for children, but the thresholds differ by age.

  • The AAP adopts 130/80 mm Hg starting at age 13 years
  • European Society of Hypertension adopts 140/90 mm Hg starting at age 16 years
  • Hypertension Canada adopts 120/80 mm Hg for those aged 6-11 years and 130/85 mm Hg for those aged 12-17 years.
  • Adolescents entering adulthood with a BP <120/80 mm Hg is an optimal goal, the writing group advise.

Modifiable risk factors for primary hypertension in childhood include obesity, physical inactivity and poor diet/nutrition, disturbed sleep patterns and environmental stress.

Looking ahead, they say efforts to improve recognition and diagnosis of high BP in children, as well as clinical trials to evaluate medical treatment and recommend public health initiatives, are all vital to combat rising rates of primary hypertension in children.

Source: Medscape | Read full article

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