High blood pressure can affect people of all ages – kids included, says Dr. Dorit Ben-Ezer. Blood pressure is the force of blood as it flows through the body’s blood vessels. In someone with hypertension, “There is higher pressure in the vascular system and the heart has to push the blood harder. Over time this can hurt your heart, the eyes and the kidneys,” says Dr. Ben-Ezer. Most of the time there are no symptoms and high blood pressure is under-diagnosed in kids. Therefore, as most OC pediatrician do, blood pressure check should be part of your child’s annual physical exam beginning at age three, Ben-Ezer advises.
SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS
Just like in adults, high blood pressure in children can result in serious, long-term health problems and can cause a stroke. “High blood pressure in kids can also indicate high blood pressure in the person as an adult. It’s important to pay attention to it in childhood,” says Dr. Ben-Ezer. Obesity is the most common cause for high blood pressure in kids today, followed by kidney problems, she notes.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND KIDNEY PROBLEMS
High blood pressure is common in children who suffer from kidney disease or have a kidney problem. Early detection and treatment of high blood pressure help young kidney patients reduce the chance of complications. “When we see children diagnosed with high blood pressure, many times we find the cause to be a previously undiagnosed kidney problem she says.
If necessary, a pediatrician can refer your child to a special kidney doctor called a nephrologist.