High blood pressure, or hypertension, currently affects more than 3.4 million children in the United States, although data from the American Heart Association suggest that estimate might be understating the issue. At Children's Cardiology Group in Orange and Mission Viejo, California, the team of experienced pediatric cardiologists provides expert diagnosis and treatment of hypertension in children and teens. To schedule an evaluation for pediatric hypertension, call the nearest location, or request an appointment through the online scheduling tool.
Hypertension refers to blood pressure that remains at elevated levels for an extended time. Your child's blood pressure changes as they grow. If your child's blood pressure remains above the 95th percentile for their age group, they may receive a diagnosis of hypertension.
Primary hypertension arises independently of any preexisting health conditions, but being overweight can contribute to the disease. Inadequate exercise, a poor diet, and exposure to secondary smoke increase your child's risk of primary hypertension.
When underlying health conditions cause high blood pressure, it's known as secondary hypertension. Conditions that lead to secondary hypertension in children include:
Children with high blood pressure have an increased risk of adult hypertension.
Most of the time, hypertension doesn't cause any symptoms. Regular pediatric checkups help your doctor monitor your child's blood pressure for signs of elevation. Occasionally, pediatric hypertension causes headaches, dizziness, rapid heart rate, or nausea.
To prevent primary hypertension in healthy children, the experienced physicians at Children's Cardiology Group recommend a diet that's high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and low in salt and sugar. They also suggest that children exercise daily. If you smoke, consider quitting to protect against the dangers of secondhand smoke.
The compassionate team of experts at Children's Cardiology Group design personalized care plans to help you manage your child's hypertension. Based on your child's individual needs, your custom plan may involve lifestyle management aspects, which typically include a weight loss program, exercise recommendations, and nutritional counseling. Your provider may also prescribe medication to help control your child's blood pressure.
If your child has secondary hypertension, your Children's Cardiology Group physician either provides treatment or recommends a specialist who can address the underlying condition causing high blood pressure.
Treating hypertension now reduces your child's risk for complications later in life. If you're concerned about your child's blood pressure, schedule a consultation with an expert at Children's Cardiology Group. Call the clinic nearest you, or request an appointment online today.