Under New Guidelines, More Kids Have Hypertension

By E.J. Mundell

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — There’s good news and bad news from a new report when it comes to high blood pressure among America’s children.

The good news: perhaps because of better diets and use of antihypertensive medications, the percentage of kids with high blood pressure declined between 2001 and 2016, according to a research team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bad news: New hypertension guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2017 lowered the threshold for a diagnosis of high blood pressure in those under 19 years of age, and that means 795,000 more children are now classified as having the condition than before.

But is that really bad news? One heart specialist thinks not.

“The new hypertension guidelines have reclassified those young patients who previously were considered to have ‘normal’ blood pressure to now fall under the category of high blood pressure,” said Dr. Rachel Bond, who helps direct women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

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