Why Children Can Suffer From Hypertension Too

By Sean Davids

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, has long been considered a grown up issue, with an increased prevalence the older people get. However, with an increasing number of children now suffering from hypertension, a great deal of importance is being paid to this issue. One percent of children below the age of 12 and up to 6% of teenagers suffer from this problem, as evidenced by a number of studies. The definition of hypertension in children is defined as having blood pressure that is higher than 95% of the children of the same age group, race and gender. It is crucial to the nation's health that we learn why some kids suffer from high blood pressure.

It's well known that U.S. citizens on the whole are growing more overweight. That this situation is not confined to adults and can affect even children is a factor that is sometimes ignored. One-third of the child population of this nation belong in the obese category, which is a highly disturbing statistic. And this is the primary cause of hypertension in children.

There are ongoing studies on the link between overweight and high blood pressure, but we certainly know without doubt that such a link exists both in kids and in grownups. And this is the one factor that can be easily controlled without the need for any medical intervention. If children are encouraged to spend more time outdoors, their natural energy will cause them to indulge in physical activity that will burn up the extra calories. It will do a lot towards eliminating a key hypertension factor in kids.

Absence of physical activity or exercise is not always the sole reason for being overweight, however. One reason for obesity and hypertension in children may be due to genetics. Children of parents affected with illnesses such as obesity or diabetes should be tested for the presence of any such genetic or hormonal disorders and should be treated immediately.

Another reason for obesity and a major cause of hypertension in children is bad food habits. One of the worst eating habits for children is excessive consumption of junk food. Apart from a natural predisposition for fast food, locations serving this type of food are typically common teen hangouts. Once in the premises, their consumption of this unhealthy food tends to rise dramatically.

The causes of hypertension in children can also include a number of medical conditions that aren't always obvious. These disorders include sleep apnea, lupus, kidney problems and glandular disorders. Children may also overeat due to psychological issues. If a child has hypertension, it's essential to talk to a physician, even if the obvious cause appears to be obesity. Children may also have hypertension for other reasons which need to be looked at. - 31820

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