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Jefferson researchers announce recommendations on when to test blood pressure in young children

etes and cholesterol disorders," she says. "These guidelines provide a kind of checklist to assist pediatricians in translating the blood pressure numbers and in helping to recognize these potential problems.

"Once hypertension is recognized, pediatricians can begin providing treatment. Currently, it is estimated that from one to three percent of children and adolescents may have hypertension."

Pediatricians often find that taking the blood pressure measurement of young children is challenging. It is important that the blood pressure cuff used in a child is the correct size in order to obtain an accurate measure, Dr. Falkner stresses. An elevated blood pressure should be confirmed on repeated visits before a physician characterizes a child as having hypertension.

Initially, the guidelines recommend therapeutic lifestyle changes such as dietary modifications, weight reduction, regular physical activity and restriction of sedentary activity to help prevent increases in blood pressure in children and adolescents over time. Dr. Falkner also recommends that physicians take a sleep history due to to association of sleep apnea with overweight and high blood pressure. If these measures don't prove to be effective, antihypertensive drug therapy may be appropriate to control the blood pressure.


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Contact: Nan Myers
nan.myers@jefferson.edu
215-955-6300
Thomas Jefferson University
18-May-2004


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