You may know hypertension by its other name, high blood pressure. And you may have thought of it as a condition associated with adults. But kids can have high blood pressure too, even as infants.
While hypertension is far more common among adults, the rate among kids is on the rise, a trend that experts link to childhood obesity. In fact, an estimated three percent of kids have high blood pressure. In babies, it's usually caused by prematurity or problems with the kidneys or heart. In young children, hypertension is often a symptom of other illnesses or disorders. But it can also occur for the same reasons that adults acquire it.
Many kids and teens with high blood pressure have no other health problems, but do have a family history of hypertension. Other contributors may be an unhealthy lifestyle — a bad diet, excess weight, stress and insufficient physical activity.
If it goes untreated, high blood pressure can eventually lead to damage to the heart, brain, kidneys and eyes. But if it's caught early, monitored and treated, a child with high blood pressure can lead an active, normal life.
What is blood pressure?
How blood pressure is measured
Causes of high blood pressure
Diagnosing high blood pressure
Treating high blood pressure
Diet and hypertension
Long-term consequences of high blood pressure
We're here to help.
If your child has been diagnosed, you probably have lots of questions. We can help. For resources, education or more information on support, click here. If you would like to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our staff, please call our offices at 682-885-2140.