• By Vivien Williams

Mayo Clinic Minute: Kids with high blood pressure

December 7, 2017

High blood pressure is a common condition that raises your risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases. While you might think that high blood pressure is an adult disease, Mayo Clinic's Dr. Vandana Bhide says research shows the condition is becoming increasingly common in kids. And this has prompted new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Adults are routinely screened for high blood pressure. And because high blood pressure is becoming an issue with kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a new set of screening and treatment guidelines.

“I think the most common reason that we’re seeing much more high blood pressure is obesity.”

Dr. Bhide says kids don’t move as much as they used to, and they have easy access to processed foods and drinks that are high in sugar and fat. So kids are gaining weight, which can cause blood pressure to rise.

“The vast majority of kids who have high blood pressure actually don’t have any symptoms whatsoever, and that’s why, at age 3, we want to be starting to screen them.”

The guidelines include information on safe blood pressure numbers for all ages and sizes of kids.

Dr. Bhide says lifestyle changes and medication can help protect kids from diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

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