Comprehensive guidelines for the treatment and management of hypertension in children and adolescents are being published for the first time in the latest issue of the Journal of Hypertension.
Prepared by a Task Force established by the European Society of Hypertension, the guidelines will prove to be an invaluable source of information for physicians, nurses and families dealing with hypertension in young people.
The necessity for the guidelines has become increasingly clear to physicians in light of growing evidence that cases of mild hypertension in children and adolescents are much more common than previously thought. In addition, progress made in pathophysiological and clinical research has made clear links between paediatric hypertension and cardiovascular disease later in life, highlighting the need for improved cardiovascular prevention strategies for pre-adult individuals.
The Task Force, set up by the European Society of Hypertension and headed by Dr Empar Lurbe of the University of Valencia, has combined considerable amounts of scientific data with clinical experience in order to represent a consensus among specialists involved in the detection and control of high blood pressure (BP) in children and adolescents. It is hoped that the publication of these guidelines will call attention to the burden of hypertension in children and adolescents, and encourage public policy makers to develop a global effort to improve identification and treatment of high BP among young people. Primarily, however, these guidelines provide practical strategies for diagnosing and treating hypertension in children and adolescents. They include:
The Task Force also suggests strategies for long term follow up, and make recommendations for future research in the field.
The guidelines will certainly prove vital in combating the growing epidemic of cardiovascular disease in adults, by emphasising the need for preventative strategies to be implemented from an early age. As Dr Lurbe comments, “Action is required to address this problem in one of the most vulnerable and precious sectors of our society: children and adolescents.”
Materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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