Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elevated blood pressure increasing among children, adolescents

Date:
July 15, 2013
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
The risk of elevated blood pressure among children and adolescents rose 27 percent during a 13-year period, according to new research. Higher body mass, larger waistlines and eating excess sodium may be the reasons for the elevated blood pressure readings, researchers said.

The risk of elevated blood pressure among children and adolescents rose 27 percent during a 13-year period, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

Higher body mass, larger waistlines and eating excess sodium may be the reasons for the elevated blood pressure readings, researchers said.

High blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney failure -- accounting for about 350,000 preventable deaths a year in the United States.

"High blood pressure is dangerous in part because many people don't know they have it," said Bernard Rosner, Ph.D., lead author of the study and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. "It's a very sneaky thing. Blood pressure has to be measured regularly to keep on top of it."

In adults age 20 and older, blood pressure should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg. However, among children and teens blood pressure norms vary according to age, sex and height.

While the researchers noted "elevated" readings, the children could not be called hypertensive because blood pressure readings must be high three times in a row for an official diagnosis.

Researchers compared more than 3,200 children ages 8-17 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III in 1988-1994 to more than 8,300 in NHANES in 1999-2008. They accounted for differences between the two groups in age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass, waistline and sodium intake.

Researchers found:

  • Boys were more likely to have elevated blood pressure, but the rate increased more markedly in girls from the first study to the second.
  • More children were overweight in the second study, and both sexes, especially girls, had bigger waistlines.
  • Children whose body mass or waistline measurements were in the top 25 percent for their age group were about twice as likely to have elevated blood pressure as children with measurements in the bottom 25 percent.
  • African-American children had a 28 percent higher risk of elevated blood pressure than non-Hispanic white children.
  • In both studies, children with the greatest sodium intake were 36 percent more likely than those with the lowest intake to have elevated blood pressure.

More than 80 percent of children in both studies had a daily sodium intake above 2,300 milligrams; however, fewer children in the later study had an intake above 3,450 milligrams.

"Everyone expects sodium intake will continue to go up," Rosner said. "It seems there's been a little bit of listening to dietary recommendations, but not a lot."

Americans eat an average 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily -- more than twice the 1,500 or less that the American Heart Association recommends. Two-thirds of sodium intake is from store-bought foods and one-quarter from restaurant offerings.

Studies have linked excessive sodium in the diet to high blood pressure, and have suggested reducing sodium intake in children's and adolescents' can lower average systolic (top number) blood pressure by 1.2 mm Hg and average diastolic (bottom number) pressure 1.3 mm Hg.

Co-authors are: Nancy R. Cook, Sc.D.; Stephen Daniels, M.D., Ph.D. and Bonita Falkner, M.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Rosner, N. R. Cook, S. Daniels, B. Falkner. Childhood Blood Pressure Trends and Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure: The NHANES Experience 1988-2008. Hypertension, 2013; 62 (2): 247 DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.00831

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Elevated blood pressure increasing among children, adolescents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130715164729.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2013, July 15). Elevated blood pressure increasing among children, adolescents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130715164729.htm
American Heart Association. "Elevated blood pressure increasing among children, adolescents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130715164729.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins