Primary hypertension and special aspects of hypertension in older children and adolescents
Demetrius Ellis, Yosuke Miyashita
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA, USA
Abstract: The prevalence of hypertension has increased at an accelerated rate in older children and adolescents. This has raised great concern about premature development of cardiovascular disease, which has major long-term health and financial implications. While obesity and sedentary habits largely explain this phenomenon, there are other social and cultural influences that may unmask genetic susceptibility to hypertension in the pediatric population. While it is essential to exclude numerous causes of secondary hypertension in every child, these disorders are not discussed in this review. Rather, the aim of this review is to familiarize pediatricians with casual and ambulatory blood pressure measurement, epidemiology, pathophysiology, and management of several common conditions that play a role in the development of hypertension in children and adolescents. Besides primary hypertension and obesity-related hypertension, emphasis is given to epidemiology, measurement of blood pressure, including ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, hypertension associated with drug use, teenage pregnancy, and video and computer games. Lastly, because pediatricians are increasingly confronted with special issues concerning the management of the hypertensive athlete, this topic is also addressed.
Keywords: hypertension, adolescents, obesity, drugs, pregnancy, athletes
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