High blood pressure is not only a problem for adults, in fact about 7% of children-adolescents are also affected. When should you worry?
The high pressure
is an adult problem. In recent years, in fact, the cases of hypertension have also increased among children and adolescents
. But what are the numbers of this pathology among the very young? And what are the causes?
The numbers of high blood pressure in children
Up to 7% of children and adolescents
suffer from high blood pressure. Half of these suffer from real arterial hypertension (above the 95th percentile with respect to sex, age and height), while the others have stable high values (between the 90th and 95th percentile).
These are the results that emerged from national and international screening, even more worrying if we consider that, among obese or overweight children, these percentages reach 24% .
The Italian Society of Pediatrics, in collaboration with the Italian Society of Arterial Hypertension, in a document of joint recommendations ,
A child with high blood pressure will frequently have hypertension as an adult, so he will be at risk for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in Italy.
Prevention and treatment
The increase in cases of high blood pressure and hypertension in early childhood and adolescence is due to the increase in overweight
children and adolescents but also to the improvement in terms of survival of premature babies who are more likely to develop cardiovascular problems than normal weight at birth.
High blood pressure in children is often asymptomatic ,
so it is important to offer every child the opportunity to lead a healthy life by following some important recommendations:
Pay attention to risk factors
: for children who are underweight at birth, obese or overweight children or teens and those familiar with cardiovascular disease, it is recommended to undergo regular blood pressure checkups, starting from 3 years.
Have children and teenagers carry out regular physical activity
and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. In cases of more severe hypertension it is however good to subject the children to specific medical checks for sport.
Implement prevention that starts with the diet
. The diet should aim at achieving weight loss for overweight children and reducing sodium intake in the diet is also very important.
Since studies show that a high-sodium diet doubles the chance of developing hypertension, and this risk is even more serious (threefold) when associated with overweight or obesity.
, it finally offers you a real alternative to salt, equally tasty but with up to 75% less sodium.