Arterial hypertension in Children
Can children have hypertension? Yes, unfortunately the answer to this question can be affirmative. Considered normal blood pressure for an adult is 120/80 mm Hg for children however some tables are used to compute these values. It can make the diagnosis of arterial hypertension if the blood pressure is higher than 95% than the child registered of the same age, sex and height. A child’s blood pressure values lower than those measured as an adult, it increases with the age of the child.
Most times manifestations of hypertension are not seized, possibly headaches may be an indication of this. Children under 10 years typically show hypertension due to other problems and then we talk of secondary arterial hypertension. Among the diseases that can cause secondary hypertension can include: chronic kidney, renal artery stenosis (seen in neurofibromatosis and various syndromes such as Marfan syndrome), polycystic kidney disease, adrenal disorders, pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland), hyperthyroidism, etc.
Primary arterial hypertension is hypertension that occurs without any condition related to children over 10 years and is usually discovered incidentally and have certain risk factors such as hypertension with a family history, obesity (An average of 30 % of obese children aged over 10 years are hypertensive), elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes mellitus type II.
It is important that hypertension to be detected in time for the child to be able to administer appropriate treatment and avoid complications that may arise as an adult: stroke, heart failure, myocardial infarction.
Associated with hypertension in children can be observed: sleep apnea, difficulty in breathing during sleep, so it is important for parents to detect any child’s breathing problems during sleep. It also can be detected peripheral edema in children or hematuria; hypertension may be secondary to indicate a starting point in the kidney.
Depending on how severe hypertension and associated complications are or not, the doctor shall decide whether is sufficient to change the patient’s lifestyle (eating a low-salt diet, fruits and vegetables and avoiding fast food, avoid sedentariness and regular exercise program) and, if necessary, medication. For example, in the case of an overweight / obese child, of which hypertension is caused by these kilograms, weight reduction is essential and may be more important than treatment with medicines. In turn, medicinal therapy can be instituted only temporary or, on the contrary, the long, on unlimited duration.
It is important for the child to go to the doctor cardiologist if there are indications to that effect or mere suspicions.