Competence center for cardiology informs: high blood pressure – hypertension in children and adolescents
Definition high blood pressure – hypertension in children and adolescents
The specialist in cardiology differentiate > High blood pressure in children and adolescents is a serious illness. It damages the walls of the vessels and can have serious consequences. If the cardiologist does not recognize and treat it in good time, atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke or kidney failure can occur in young adulthood. A shorter lifespan can also be expected. Up to the age of 4, children’s blood pressure is measured twice during the check-ups.
Blood pressure indicates the pressure at which the blood flows through the children’s arteries. It is usually given as a pair of numbers consisting of the maximum (systolic) and minimum (diastolic) value. The measurement is made on the upper arm of the child and adolescent in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The child should be as relaxed as possible. The upper (systolic) value indicates the highest pressure in the blood vessels. It occurs when the heart contracts (contraction) and the blood pumps into the arteries. Then the heart relaxes (dilation), the pressure is reduced. In this phase the lower (diastolic) value is measured.
Children have lower blood pressure than adults. It differs according to age, gender and height. In addition, the blood pressure in children is not constant, but fluctuates, e.g. during the night’s rest, during physical exertion or through the state of mind. The cardiologists base their measurements on the values of the German Hypertension League:
|Age||normal||high normal||high blood pressure|
|sys.||125 mm Hg|
|slide.||80 mm Hg|
|sys.||135 mm Hg|
|slide.||85 mm Hg|
|18 years old|
|sys.||140 mm Hg|
|slide.||90 mm Hg|
If one of the two limit values is exceeded, the cardiologists speak of high blood pressure (hypertension) in children and adolescents.
Synonyms and related terms
Hypertensive crisis, hypertensive emergency, essential hypertension, hypertension, chronic increase in blood pressure, encephalopathy
English: hypertension, blood pressure of children
Overview high blood pressure in children and adolescents
Similar to adults, high blood pressure (hypertension) in children and adolescents is usually only discovered by accident by the cardiologist, because initially there are no symptoms or pain. If you notice the following symptoms in your child, you should immediately consult a cardiology specialist:
- Common headache
- anxiety feelings
- sleep disorders
- Severe nausea and vomiting
Causes of hypertension in children and adolescents
The specialist in cardiology can determine the extent of the disease. He will advise you as a parent on what you can do if your child’s blood pressure is too high. High blood pressure (hypertension) in children and adolescents rarely has organic reasons. However, if there is kidney or heart disease, children’s blood pressure may rise. In this case, your specialist in cardiology speaks of secondary hypertension. However, primary (essential) hypertension is present in about 85 to 95 percent of the diseases. It has no physical causes and is not due to an illness. Obesity, increased blood lipid levels and a sugar metabolism disorder (diabetes mellitus) lead to high blood pressure in children and adolescents. However, it has been known for some time that active ingredients used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), e.g. Methylphenidate (Ritalin) or atomoxetine (Strattera), leading to the side effect high blood pressure in 80 percent of patients.
What you can do yourself in hypertension in children and adolescents
Because obesity, increased blood lipid levels and diabetes mellitus are the main causes of high blood pressure (hypertension) in children and adolescents, cardiology specialists recommend reducing weight, eating a healthy diet and doing endurance sports. Are important:
- Low fat diet
- Low salt diet
- to jog
Endurance training of half an hour a day can lower blood pressure in children and adolescents by 4 to 9 mm Hg. Cardiologists recommend that you measure your child’s blood pressure regularly let and keep a blood pressure diary.
Help from the specialist
Depending on the specificity of the symptoms, a detailed diagnosis can be carried out by a wide range of specialists based on a conversation with your doctor. These include:
What to expect from your cardiology doctor?
Before your doctor of cardiology starts an examination, there is an introductory discussion (anamnesis) about your child’s current symptoms. As part of this, he will also ask you about previous complaints and any existing illnesses.
You can expect the following questions:
- How long have the symptoms existed??
- Can you make an exact characterization and, if necessary, localization?
- Have changes occurred in the course of the symptoms??
- Does your child suffer from additional symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness
- Has your child suffered from this before and have these symptoms occurred in the family??
- Are there any pre-existing or hereditary diseases and are they being treated??
- Your child is currently taking medication?
- Are you aware of allergies??
- Your child suffers from everyday stress?
What medications does your child take regularly??
Your cardiologist needs an overview of the medicines your child is taking regularly. Before you go to the cardiologist to see a doctor, put together an overview of the medication you are taking in a table. You can find a template for the overview here.
Examinations (diagnostics) by the cardiologist Berlin
Based on the symptom characteristics recorded in the previous medical history and the current state of your child, the specialist in cardiology can now use the following diagnostics:
- Repeated blood pressure measurements while lying and standing
- 24-hour blood pressure measurement
- Blood and urine tests (including cholesterol, blood sugar, hormone breakdown products, uric acid)
- Inquire about family history
- Ultrasound, EKG
Your specialist in cardiology will advise you as parents in detail about the options for treatment (therapy) of your child. Therapy with medication is not easy for children and adolescents because many blood pressure lowering medications are not approved for children. The cardiologists first recommend non-drug therapy, especially weight loss and more exercise. As with adults, blood pressure in children and adolescents drops by about 1 mm Hg per kilogram of weight loss. If the non-drug therapy is not sufficient to lower the hypertension in children, the treating cardiologist will prescribe antihypertensives. This includes:
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotensin-1 receptor blockers
- calcium antagonists
- Beta blockers
Prevention (prophylaxis, prevention)
The best prevention (prevention) in children and adolescents, as in adults, is a healthy lifestyle, i.e. a healthy Diet and enough exercise. Children and adolescents who exercise regularly and are not overweight play a key role in keeping their blood pressure within the normal range
Cardiologists emphasize that it is extremely important to treat hypertension in children and adolescents in good time. Those who manage to bring it down to a normal level are promoting theirs health and increases life expectancy. The specialist in cardiology therefore recommends changing your lifestyle. Parents should support their children in this.
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