- For non-Hispanic whites, 30.1 percent of males and 25.6 percent of females.
- For non-Hispanic blacks, 36.9 percent of males and 41.3 percent of females.
- For Mexican Americans, 40.5 percent of males and 38.2 percent of females.
BLOOD PRESSURE READINGS Checking blood pressure is as important for children as it is for adults. Children who experience one or more high blood pressure readings are up to three times more likely to develop the disease in adulthood. Even if the spikes in blood pressure were just occasional, it can still signal problems in the future. Occasional spikes do not mean a child has to be treated for high blood pressure, but that they should be monitored closely. Parents should make sure their pediatrician checks blood pressure and weight during each visit. Parents should also take note that blood pressure readings are more accurate at home, without the stress added by the doctor’s office.
SODIUM TEST Sodium measurements in a child’s urine can also help gauge a child’s risk for high blood pressure later in life. Researchers screened 19 children and found that seven of eight who retained sodium had high blood pressure. Sodium retention can increase the amount of fluid in the blood vessels, which impacts blood pressure. If the body can’t properly regulate sodium, high blood pressure can develop over time. This finding provides useful information so that pediatricians can work to prevent and treat high blood pressure in their patients.
High blood pressure should not be dismissed among children. These risk assessments can help to prevent and care for children who could develop high blood pressure as an adult. Parents and their pediatrician can work together to reduce their child’s risk and ensure their child a heart-healthy life.