BLOOD PRESSURE RISK AMONG OVERWEIGHT CHILDREN
Today, about one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. New research suggests that overweight and obese children have a high risk of developing high blood pressure.
According to a new study, overweight and obese children are twice as likely as average weight children to develop high blood pressure . During this study, researchers analyzed heath records for nearly 250,000 children between the ages of 6 and 17 in California. Researchers found that 10 percent of extremely obese children and teens have high blood pressure or experience occasional high blood pressure readings.
High blood pressure, or formally known as hypertension, can be asymptomatic for many years and could lead to serious health conditions including heart and kidney disease in children. Corinna Koebnick, a researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Department of Research and Evaluation and lead author for the study, says the findings should encourage pediatricians to be observant about screenings for overweight or obese children and teens.
Researchers believe that current methods for classifying weight for children can be an effective way to identify if a child is at risk. Being classified as overweight could indicate the child of teen for prehypertension, while being classified as obese could indicate the child has high blood pressure.