Most high blood pressure in children and teenagers is linked with unhealthy lifestyle

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Lack of physical activity, a diet high in sugar and salt, and obesity are responsible for nine out of ten cases of high blood pressure in children and adolescents, according to a consensus paper published today by heart health experts. European Heart Journal, European Journal of Cardiology (ESC). The paper, which focuses on high blood pressure in 6- to 16-year-olds, recommends that families stay healthy together.

“Parents are great agents of change in development childrenHealth condition, said first author Professor Giovanni de Simone of the University of Naples Federico II, Italy. “Often, high blood pressure and/or obesity coexist in the same family. But even if this is not the case, it is desirable that lifestyle changes affect all family members.

Dietary recommendations for treating high blood pressure in children include emphasizing fresh vegetables, fruits, and other high-fiber foods, limiting salt intake, and avoiding sugary and fatty drinks. Children and teenagers should do at least one hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day, such as jogging, cycling or swimming, and spend no more than two hours a day on non-physical activities. they are strong. “Parents should monitor the amount of time their children spend watching television or using mobile phones and suggest ways to use them,” said Professor de Simone.

Realistic goals for weight, diet, and exercise should be set that focus on areas that need improvement. “Recording weight, eating habits and physical activity over time – but without being obsessive – can help young people and their families to make progress towards their goals,” said Professor de Simone.

A “health-promoting reward system” is recommended. Professor de Simone said, “The best incentives are those that increase social support and reinforce the value of the target behavior, such as family cycling or walking with friends.”

The paper refers to childhood obesity and high blood pressure as “silent siblings” that slowly become a health hazard. Research shows that children’s blood pressure is increasing and part of the increase can be explained by obesity, especially obesity. fat. It is estimated that less than 2% of normal weight children have high blood pressure, compared to 5% of overweight and 15% of obese children. Professor De Simone said, “Childhood high blood pressure is of great concern because it is associated with persistent hypertension and other cardiovascular problems in adulthood.”

Early diagnosis of high blood pressure is important so that it can be managed with lifestyle, and if needed, medication. Even a blood pressure measurement by a doctor or nurse can identify children with high blood pressure, but a second visit is recommended to confirm. Professor De Simone said, “The test should be done at the first level at least every year, regardless of the symptoms. This is because hypertension in children, as in adults, is usually asymptomatic it is.”

When a blood pressure monitor shows high blood pressure, a medical history and physical examination are needed to determine possible causes and identify behaviors that can be corrected. Information includes a family history of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, birth weight and birth age; lifestyle details such as smoking, salt intake, alcohol consumption, physical activity and leisure activities; and possible symptoms including headache, runny nose, vertigo, visual impairment, poor school performance, attention problems, shortness of breath, chest pain, stroke and fainting.

In the early stages, childhood hypertension treatment should focus on education and behavior change. If blood pressure goals are not achieved, a lower dose of the drug should be introduced. If one drug is ineffective, lower doses of two drugs may be needed.

The authors urge public health authorities to prioritize prevention and control high blood pressure in children and young people. For example, campaigns to increase public awareness of the risk of high blood pressure in young people and the positive effects of a healthy lifestyle including exercise, a diet low in salt and sugar, and not smoking. Other recommended practices include a time to protect children from television and social media without promoting unhealthy foods or lifestyle behaviors.

The documents approved by the ESC have been prepared by the Hypertension, the group of brains, and the Cardiovasculoal association, as well as the European association of the European diseases and the European diseases and the European diseases.

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Additional information:
Giovanni de Simone et al, hypertension in children and adolescents, European Heart Journal (2022). … 93/eurheartj/ehac328

hintHigh blood pressure in children and adolescents is linked to unhealthy lifestyles (2022, July 27) Retrieved 27 July 2022 from -children-youth.html

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