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Children and High Blood Pressure

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Updated February 20, 2007

Weight, Children and High Blood Pressure:

More and more children are overweight or obese. This has caused an increase in childhood high blood pressure. Years ago, high blood pressure in someone under 18 years old was rare. Now as many as 10 percent of people in the United States under the age 18 have high blood pressure.

Measuring Blood Pressure in Children:

High blood pressure is measured differently in children. Before the age of 3, it is very difficult to get an accurate blood pressure reading. Factors such as the child’s height can change the maximum healthy blood pressure. It is important to use a child-sized blood pressure cuff. The levels for high blood pressure vary by age.

Treating High Blood Pressure in Children:

High blood pressure in children should be treated with lifestyle changes and the care of a doctor. All children who are overweight are at increased risk for developing high blood pressure.

source: nhlbi.gov

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