High blood pressure becoming more common among kids

Daybreak

Adults usually come to mind when you talk about high blood pressure but studies show it’s becoming more common among young children.

“When kids had high blood pressure, it was because they were born with a condition that gave them high blood pressure. They would have had an abnormality of the aorta, kidney disease, maybe thyroid problems,” said Dr. Denise Bobovnyik, a Canfield family doctor.

She said you would treat that condition and the blood pressure issue would go away, which is called secondary hypertension.

Now, she said they are finding primary hypertension.

“It’s more of a lifestyle thing or a genetic thing. We’re now seeing it more, primary hypertension in kids,” Bobovnyik said.

They start screening at age 3 and check yearly for blood pressure issues, she said.

Chart studies showed that only 26 percent of kids who have elevated blood pressure were actually identified as having high blood pressure.

“We have to pay more attention to it. Parents should ask, ‘What’s my child’s blood pressure?'”

Bobovnyik said there are five things to do if someone has high blood pressure. These include getting body weight down, exercising 30 to 60 minutes three to five times a week, consume low amounts of salt, no smoking and no drinking alcohol.

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