Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Juvenile Hypertension Essential Facts

High blood pressure in children is described as higher BP readings for about 95% compare to normal BP. This condition may occur to both male and female child. It usually affects a certain age group (14-18 years old). The juvenile hypertension may strike any child with varying weight and height, as well.

Any case of high blood pressure that may occur to children who are below 10 years old is caused by other underlying cardiac problems. However, the causes of this vascular problem are the same with the hypertension to adults. These include overweight, failure to exercise, and possesses poor eating habits. 

Modification of lifestyle and eating pattern can help reduce the chance of getting juvenile hypertension. But for other cases, pharmaceutical drugs will be given to stabilize the blood pressure. 
Causes of Juvenile Hypertension

There are two major groups of causes for juvenile hypertension. These include the modifiable and non-modifiable factors. For modifiable factors, high blood pressure in children may be aggravated by poor eating pattern (eating foods that are high in cholesterol, sodium, and sugar), poor lifestyle practices (failure to exercise regularly, avoids playing outdoor games, and oversleeping), and organ damages (kidney or pancreatic problems). 

As for non-modifiable factors, this condition may occur to children whose parents have history of hypertension, age-related, and gender-related factors. However, juvenile hypertension is not discriminating any gender because it occurs fairly to male and female child. 
Susceptibility to Juvenile Hypertension

Juvenile hypertension is classified into two types. The essential or primary juvenile hypertension may occur on its own. This condition may affect any children without any underlying health problems. It usually affects older children (15 to 18 years old). Any child who is obese (with body mass index of more than 25), family history of hypertension (maternal or paternal side), has diabetes mellitus (non-insulin dependent), and has high level of triglycerides and cholesterols in the blood. 

The secondary juvenile hypertension is characterized by high blood pressure, which is caused by any underlying health problems. This type of juvenile hypertension may occur to younger children (14 and below). 

The common health problems that may precipitate the development of secondary juvenile hypertension are:

1.Narrowing of the artery in the kidney (renal artery stenosis) 

2.Disorder in the adrenal gland (gland that is located above the kidney, which produces hormones) 

3.Coarctation of the aorta (heart problem) 

4.Kidney problems (renal failure and polycystic kidney disease) 

5.Endocrine problems (hyperthyroidism and pheochromocytoma) 
Clinical Manifestations of Juvenile Hypertension

The signs and symptoms of juvenile hypertension are difficult to diagnose. However, the parents are suggested to visit their cardio specialist in case that their children had any underlying health problems. Furthermore, it is best for the parents to regularly monitor the blood pressure of their children. 

In cases where infants had low birth weight, premature birth, kidney and heart problems, they are recommended to have their BP monitored frequently. There is specific equipment that is used to measure the blood pressure of infants. Furthermore, children who are obese and overweight should be required to have their blood pressure assessed and evaluate on a routinely manner. 
Complications of Juvenile Hypertension

Any child who is diagnosed with juvenile hypertension may possess the same condition as he or she grows. The common complication of hypertension in children is sleep apnea. This condition is manifested by inability to breathe normally when sleeping. Snoring is another sign of sleep apnea. Parents who noticed their kids snoring when asleep should consider consulting a cardio specialist. This is an indication that the child has high blood pressure. 

Other complications of juvenile hypertension are kidney disease, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. Oral medications will be administered to children who are not responsive to natural treatment modalities – By Edter