URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/podcast/transcript102317.html

To Your Health: NLM update Transcript

Treating kids' high blood pressure: 10/23/2017

NLM logo

Greetings from the National Library of Medicine and MedlinePlus.gov

Regards to all our listeners!

I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Here is what's new this week in To Your Health, a consumer health oriented podcast from NLM, that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.

Physicians will be asked to more aggressively monitor and treat high blood pressure among children and adolescents, based on new clinical guidelines recently published in Pediatrics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, which issued the new guidelines, notes 3.5 percent of children and teens have abnormally high blood pressure (also called 'hypertension'), which often goes unnoticed and untreated.

The recommendations and efforts to treat kids and teens for high blood pressure are striking because the illness is often perceived to be more associated with among older (not younger) Americans.

Among an array of new monitoring recommendations, the guidelines suggest physicians use a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure assessment to better diagnose hypertension in children and teens. The guidelines also suggest physicians adopt a blood pressure classification system that has been endorsed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

Among the new treatment recommendations, the guidelines suggest physicians prescribe blood pressure-lowering medications if lifestyle changes fail to reduce a child or teen's high blood pressure levels.

The guidelines' 19 authors acknowledge one impact of their recommendations may result in increasing the number of children who need treatment for high blood pressure.

For example, the new guidelines suggest for the first time that physicians should compare the blood pressure among obese/overweight children and teens with their normal weight peers. The guidelines' authors explain the latter change may reveal more significant differences between children and teen blood pressure levels which in turn, fosters an increased need for treatment.

In a release from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Joseph Flynn M.D., who co-chaired the subcommittee that provided the new recommendations, says (and we quote): 'Prevention and early detection are key' (end of quote). Dr. Flynn adds (and we quote): 'High blood pressure levels tend to carry into adulthood, raising the risks for cardiovascular disease and other problems. By catching the condition early, we are able to work with the family to manage it, whether that's through lifestyle changes, medication, or a combination of treatments' (end of quote).

To provide some perspective on the need for more aggressive treatment, Dr. Flynn adds (and we quote): 'When left untreated, uncontrolled long-standing hypertension can have damaging effects on organs in the body, such as the heart, kidneys, and brain' (end of quote).

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides an easy-to-read website about high blood pressure that can be found within the 'start here' section of MedlinePlus.gov's high blood pressure health topic page. The Nemours Foundation provides a website about high blood pressure for teens that is accessible within the 'teenagers' section of MedlinePlus.gov's high blood pressure health topic page. The Nemours Foundation also provides a website about high blood pressure for kids within the 'children' section of MedlinePlus.gov's high blood pressure health topic page.

MedlinePlus.gov's high blood pressure health topic page additionally provides links to the latest pertinent journal research articles, which are available in the 'journal articles' section. Clinical trials that may be occurring in your area can be found in the 'clinical trials' section. You can sign up to receive updates about high blood pressure as they become available on MedlinePlus.gov.

To find MedlinePlus.gov's high blood pressure health topic page, please type 'high blood pressure' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page, then, click on 'high blood pressure (National Library of Medicine).' MedlinePlus.gov also contains health topic pages devoted to lowering blood pressure, children's health, and teen health.

Before I go, this reminder... MedlinePlus.gov is authoritative. It's free. We do not accept advertising .... and is written to help you.

To find MedlinePlus.gov, just type 'MedlinePlus.gov' in any web browser, such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Explorer on any platform.

We encourage you to use MedlinePlus and please recommend it to your friends. MedlinePlus is available in English and Spanish. Some medical information is available in 48 other languages.

A written transcript of recent podcasts is available by typing 'To your health' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page.

The National Library of Medicine is one of 27 institutes and centers within the National Institutes of Health. The National Institutes of Health is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A disclaimer — the information presented in this program should not replace the medical advice of your physician. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease without first consulting with your physician or other health care provider.

It was nice to be with you. Please join us here next week and here's to your health!