From Your Health Journal…..”I wanted to post an important article today written by By Steven Reinberg on a web site called The Doctor’s Lounge via HealthDay – love the Doctor’s Lounge web site and HealthDay articles, so I am very happy to promote them here.
The article discussed blood pressure in children, and whether or not it is essential to monitor. Despite a worrisome increase in obese and hypertensive children and teens, not enough evidence exists to justify routinely screening young people for high blood pressure. Research has concluded that it’s unclear whether treating high blood pressure in young children or teens controls hypertension long-term, or leads to better heart health in adulthood. So, no recommendation is being made from this research. In the US, between 1 to 5% of children and teenagers have high blood pressure, and 11% among obese youth – the study points to the rise in childhood obesity as one contributor to the increase in blood pressure among children. Heart disease is still the number one killer in the US, with many children now showing signs of this disease, including high blood pressure. Whether or not it is important or not to monitor would be up to each pediatrician, but healthy lifestyle among our youth is important in the fight against heart disease. Please visit the Doctor’s Lounge web site (link provided below) to view the complete article.”
From the article…..
Task force finds insufficient data to support testing, but others say it’s essential.
Despite a worrisome increase in obese and hypertensive children and teens, not enough evidence exists to justify routinely screening young people for high blood pressure, a new report says.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reviewed existing research and concluded that it’s unclear whether treating high blood pressure in children and adolescents controls hypertension long-term or leads to better heart health in adulthood.
Given the lack of convincing evidence either for or against screening, the panel has decided not to make any recommendation. However, it is calling for more research on the benefits and risks of screening.
The task force report, published online Feb. 25 in the journal Pediatrics, said doctors considering whether to screen or not should take into account “current scientific research, expert opinion, their own knowledge and experience, as well their patient’s health history along with the preference of the patient and family.”
In the United States, between 1 percent and 5 percent of children and teenagers have high blood pressure, and among obese youth, the rate is higher — 11 percent, the task force said. The rise in childhood hypertension seen over the last few decades is probably a result of the obesity epidemic, the task force added.
In light of this increase, the panel’s stance concerns some doctors.
“I hope pediatricians when they read this don’t think because there is no established direct correlation between screening for hypertension [in kids] and cardiovascular risk factors in adulthood that screening doesn’t need to be done,” said Dr. Ana Paredes, director of renal research at Miami Children’s Hospital in Florida, who had no part in the report.
“It is extremely important to screen children and adolescents for hypertension,” she said. “That’s the official position of the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
The academy also says that if high blood pressure persists, it can lead to heart failure or stroke in adulthood.
Paredes said she sees many young patients with high blood pressure today. “We are having an epidemic of hypertension, mainly in preteens and teenagers, related to overweight and obesity,” she said.
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