Study shows children with high blood pressure may go unnoticed - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/27/10

Study shows children with high blood pressure may go unnoticed

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Jessica Corser, 17, seemed perfectly healthy, she had no symptoms and her doctors never noticed blood pressure trouble, until she fainted one day in school. They discovered her blood pressure had skyrocketed to 201 over 198.

Jessica was part of a study at Johns Hopkins, which found more and more children have high blood pressure today, but many doctors are not looking for it in kids.  Part of the problem is in kids, blood pressure also depends on age, gender and weight.    

"For a three year old of normal height, 110 over 60 is probably way too high. But to you and me that sounds pretty good, and in a very busy clinic setting, it may be that the physician looks at it and thinks, 'ok, that's normal," said Tammy Brady, M.D., a pediatric nephrologist at Johns Hopkins.

"High blood pressure in kids is something that we're seeing more and more. 25-35 years ago we were seeing it in 1% of kids, and now we're seeing it in 5% of kids," said Susan Furth, M.D., a pediatric nephrologist at John Hopkins.

The Johns Hopkins study followed more than 2,000 kids who checked into clinics.  Turns out 1 out of 4 had elevated blood pressure and in 90% of those cases, the condition went unnoticed at that first visit.  By the way, Jessica has her blood pressure under control now, but she's taking medication to help her do that.

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