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Monitoring and management of hypertension with obesity in adolescents

Authors Falkner B

Received 29 September 2017

Accepted for publication 26 October 2017

Published 20 November 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 33—39

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IBPC.S125094

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Konstantinos Tziomalos

Bonita Falkner

Department of Medicine and Pediatrics, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA


Abstract: Largely due to the childhood obesity epidemic, there has been an increase in the prevalence of hypertension in children and adolescents. Obesity associated hypertension is the most common hypertension phenotype among adolescents. Approximately 30% of obese adolescents have elevated blood pressure (BP) or hypertension. Updated definitions of elevated BP and hypertension in adolescents are now similar to definitions of BP status in adults. For adolescents ≥13 years of age, elevated BP is 120 to 129/<80 mm Hg. Hypertension, stage 1, is ≥130 to 139/80 to 89 mm Hg, and hypertension, stage 2, is ≥140/90 mm Hg. BP measurements over separate clinic visits are necessary to verify the diagnosis of elevated BP or hypertension. Ambulatory BP monitoring, when available, provides confirmatory data on BP status. Causal mechanisms for obesity associated hypertension include increased sympathetic nervous system activity, increased renal sodium retention secondary to insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia, and obesity mediated inflammation. The primary treatment for obesity associated hypertension is weight reduction with lifestyle changes in diet and physical activity. Although difficult to achieve, even modest weight reduction can be beneficial. The diet should be rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber, and low-fat dairy with reduction in salt intake. When lifestyle changes are insufficient to achieve BP control, pharmacologic therapy is indicated to achieve a goal BP of <130/80 mm Hg or <90th percentile, whichever is lower. Regular BP monitoring is necessary for ongoing management of obesity associated hypertension in adolescents.

Keywords: adolescents, obesity, blood pressure, hypertension

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