Your child's risk factors for high blood pressure depend on underlying health conditions, genetics or lifestyle factors.
Primary (essential) hypertension
Essential hypertension is high blood pressure that occurs on its own, without an underlying condition. This type of high blood pressure occurs more often in older children and adolescents. The risk factors for developing essential hypertension are:
- Being overweight or obese (a body mass index over 25)
- A family history of high blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes or a high fasting blood sugar level
- High cholesterol and triglycerides
Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that's caused by an underlying health condition. This is the type of high blood pressure that's more common in young children. Other health conditions that can cause high blood pressure include:
Dec. 18, 2012
- Chronic kidney disease
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Heart problems, such as coarctation of the aorta
- Adrenal disorders
- Conditions affecting the kidneys, such as lupus
- Pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor in the adrenal gland
- Narrowing of the artery to the kidney (renal artery stenosis)
- Integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents. Bethesda, Md.: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cvd_ped/index.htm. Accessed Nov. 14, 2012.
- Lurbe E, et al. Management of high blood pressure in children and adolescents: Recommendations of the European Society of Hypertension. Journal of Hypertension. 2009;27:17.
- Mattoo TK. Evaluation of hypertension in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Nov. 9, 2012.
- Mattoo TK. Epidemiology, risk factors, and etiology of hypertension in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Nov. 9, 2012.
- Mattoo TK. Treatment of hypertension in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Nov. 9, 2012.
- High blood pressure in children. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandYourRiskforHighBloodPressure/High-Blood-Pressure-in-Children_UCM_301868_Article.jsp. Accessed Nov. 9, 2012.
- Blood pressure tables for children and adolescents. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/hypertension/child_tbl.htm. Accessed Nov. 9, 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. Hypertension (pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Stergiou GS, et al. Home blood pressure monitoring in children and adolescents: A systematic review. Journal of Hypertension. 2009;27:1941.
- Healthy weight: Tips for parents. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html. Accessed Nov. 14, 2012.
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