Pediatric Blood

New guidelines that classified more children as having elevate blood pressure are better at predicting which kids are likely to develop heart disease when they reach adulthood; so according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension. The guidelines were issue by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2017 and endorse by the American Heart Association.

Compare with the 2004 guidelines from the AAP; so the 2017 guidelines increase the number of children classify as being in higher blood pressure categories; but it was not clear if the new criteria effectively identify children who were at higher risk of premature heart disease.

After reviewing years of information from the Bogalusa Heart Study; so they conclude that compare with children with normal blood pressure; so those reclassify as having elevate or high blood pressure were more likely to develop adult high blood pressure; hence thickening of the heart muscle wall and the metabolic syndrome all risk factors for heart disease,” said Lydia A.

Bazzano, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. The Bogalusa Heart Study enroll participants in childhood and has follow them for 36 years. Childhood test results on 3,940 children (47% male, ages 3-18 years and 35% African-American) and adult follow-up reveal that: 11% of the participants identify as having high blood pressure using 2017 guidelines; so compare with 7% using 2004 guidelines.

Thickening of the heart muscle

So 19% of those with high blood pressure under 2017 guidelines develop thickening; so of the heart muscle during the follow-up period; Hence compare with 12% of those consider to high blood pressure under 2004 guidelines. Not all children identify with high blood pressure under the new guidelines will require medication for the condition.

For most children with high blood pressure that is not cause by a separate medical condition or a medication; so lifestyle changes are the cornerstone of treatment. It’s important to maintain a normal weight, avoid excess salt; hence get regular physical activity and eat a healthy diet that is high in fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, lean protein and limit in salt, add sugars; so saturated and trans fats to reduce blood pressure,” said Bazzano.

Bazzano stress that lifestyle changes can improve the health of the entire family as well as the child who find to have high blood pressure. The study is limit by the lack of data on actual heart attacks and strokes during adulthood. That data is currently being collected, according to the researchers. Results on participants in the Bogalusa Heart Study; who are from one community in Louisiana, may not be generalizable to the nation as a whole.