High Blood Pressure May Be Problem for Kids, Too

(WebMD) — If new figures are to be believed, as many as one in five West Virginia fifth-graders have high blood pressure, putting them at risk for heart attack and stroke as adults.

School-based testing of more than 62,000 mostly 10- and 11-year-olds revealed that almost 20% had blood pressure readings that were high for their age, sex, and height.

It is not known how many children nationwide have high blood pressure, or even if the 20% figure is accurate for West Virginia because of the many challenges associated with school-based blood pressure testing, researchers say.

But the findings make it clear the obesity epidemic has brought with it risk factors for heart disease rarely seen in children just a few decades ago, according to University of Ottawa professor of medicine Rhian M. Touyz, MD, PhD.

Touyz chairs the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2010 Scientific Sessions, being held in Washington D.C. today through Saturday.


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