Hypertension Today

Hypertension in Children Today

Not Just a Problem for Adults Any More
Hypertension in KidsHypertension or high blood pressure is a persisting medical state in which the blood pressure in the blood vessels is elevated, resulting in the heart to exert more efforts than normal for the regular blood circulation in the arteries. It's a major cause of strokes, heart attacks, and chronic kidney diseases and is generally related with shortened life expectancy. Wrong and unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, stress and tension, and certain environmental factors along with genetic aspects play a crucial role in aggravating such health complications. High blood pressure was once considered to be an ailment affecting only middle aged or older individuals but lately it's been found to be prevalent in all age groups.

The condition is age-dependant and rarely exists in children below seven years of age, with girls suffering lesser from this medical condition than boys. High blood pressure has always been positively correlated with overweight as the increase in weight see corresponding rise in blood pressure. Though the rate it is found in children is comparatively lower than in adults ... lately an increasing number of children are being diagnosed with primary or essential Hypertension and seem to be linked to causes such as obesity, unhealthy and poor diet, genetics, and/or lack of physical activities.

This type of problems surfaces more often in older children and adolescents. Though there are not very clear and specific symptoms indicating high blood pressure but generally children suffering from high blood pressure complain of headaches and in certain cases of medical emergencies there are several serious indications such as blurred visions, shortness of breath, chest pain, and vomiting. Secondary Hypertension generally occurs due to underlying health conditions and is mostly observed in young children. Premature birth, congenital heart disease, and urinary and kidney problems all can lead to the risk of high blood pressure from infancy. Sleep apnea is a very common complication associated with Hypertension, particularly in overweight children, where the child snores or exhibits abnormal breathing while sleeping.

Children with high blood pressure often carry their health problems to their adulthood unless treated properly at the right time. If the child’s high blood pressure persists till his later age it can very well result in strokes, heart attacks, and other fatal kidney disease. Examinations begin by observing their general state of nutrition and overall health. A chart is maintained for their height and weight and thorough examinations are done of the cardiovascular system, abdomen, or any other bodily functional abnormalities. It has been observed that the chances of identifying the cause of hypertension are greater amongst younger children with higher blood pressure. Basic screening tests and investigations should be undertaken to seek out the cause for this in children.

Hypertension In Adults Today

High Blood Pressure or HypertensionHypertension or high blood pressure is a serious medical complication that adversely affects people of all age groups but is very common among those above the age of sixty-five as the blood vessels gets stiffer with age. Hypertension is a condition that requires the heart to exert more efforts to pump blood through the veins and arteries. Changes in an individual’s blood pressure can be observed every minute and is not controlled just by activities one performs but also by his emotional and mental state, diet, temperature and medications.   High blood pressure is primarily caused due to the combination of several social, behavioral and biological factors but in young adults it is particularly due to the manifestation of unhealthy and detrimental lifestyle adopted.  If not controlled, high blood pressure can be the prime cause of preventable heart attack, stroke and death. Hypertension can be classified as either primary also known as essential hypertension or secondary.  The causes of primary hypertension are not very clear but they make up for more than 95% of diagnosed cases and are the end result of combination of factors such as obesity, insulin resistance, and genetic factors. Secondary hypertension on the other hand has underlying causes like kidney disorders, heavy consumption of alcohol, intake of certain medications and steroids, obstructive sleep apnea, and endocrine disorders. 

The Silent Killer
Hypertension is correctly called as the “silent killer” since there is no apparent symptoms of high blood pressure apart from complains of headache. It is generally in the advanced cases that patients show noticeable warning signals such as nausea, visual disturbances, fatigue, seizures, and vomiting. More and more cases of Hypertension in adults are been diagnosed lately because of sedentary lifestyle adopted, excessive weight, stress and tension in every day life, unhealthy eating habits, and having family history of high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension. Poor access to healthcare and medications and lack of observance and follow up of long-term therapy are also few potential reasons for high rise in such medical complications.

Not So Common Sense 
The prime aim in treating Hypertension in adults is to reduce the gravity of serious medical complications like heart failure and strokes by controlling the blood pressure. Lowering the blood pressure through proper treatment results in prevention of further heart and brain problems and allows the person to lead a normal life. Though doctors on and off suggest proper medications for this problem but bringing basic changes in the lifestyle is of utmost importance. Person suffering from high blood pressure has to keep a continuous check on the weight since being overweight is the strongest indicator of hypertension. Apart from that regular exercising, eating healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, reducing salt and fat intake, limiting consumption of alcohol, and enjoying a stress free life are also needed. 

Some Possible Warning Signs
  • Headache
  • Tired Most of the Time
  • Poor Vision
  • Chest Pain
  • Hard to Breath
  • Heartbeat is Irregular
  • Confusion

A complete medical history, certain physical examinations and few tests and investigations can help in determining whether the person is suffering from essential hypertension or has some specific cause for his problem. People with this ailment do not require to be hospitalized and no expensive or complicated treatments are called for. Certain lifestyle modifications along with specific medical treatment are all that is required to keep the blood pressure in check. It is both for the patient and the doctor to recognize the importance of keeping the blood pressure within permissible limits. Hypertension is a major health problem which if adequately controlled can avert much human grief caused due to avoidable deaths from strokes and heart attacks. 


Health Organizations We Support

Susan G. Komen - Fighting Breast Cancer     Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation   Miracle Flights - Life Saving Travel for Children    Kids With Courage Foundation - Empowering Kids With Type 1 Diabetes

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