Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Many Teens with High Blood Pressure Undiagnosed

Here's an interesting little tidbit...

High blood pressure among children and teens is becoming increasingly prevalent yet is often undiagnosed, suggests a study published in the August 22nd issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is commonly linked to such diseases as juvenile diabetes, kidney disease or heart disease. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland examined the medical records of more than 14,000 children and adolescents ages 3 to 18 and found that of the 507 cases of high blood pressure identified by the researchers, nearly three quarters of that group had not been diagnosed. “If abnormal blood pressure is not identified by a patient’s pediatric clinician, it may be years before the abnormal blood pressure is detected, leading to end-organ damage,” noted the researchers. However, lead researcher Dr. Matthew Hansen and his team offer a possible solution to the problem – hospitals should implement a computer program designed to automatically identify high blood pressure in children based on previous blood pressure readings and patient age, sex and height.

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