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Not just adults, even teens can suffer from organ damage due to high BP

New research has found that teenagers who suffer from hypertension can also be at risk of damage to the heart and blood pressure.

health Updated: Sep 18, 2017 10:28 IST
Asian News International, Washington DC
Health,Organ damage,Teens
In childhood, high blood pressure is based on percentiles, rather than blood pressure level.(Shutterstock)

Earlier this year, it was reported that paediatric hypertension is well on the rise. Now, it turns out, organ damage from high blood pressure occurs not only in adults, but also in teens. A recent study also found that the damage to the heart and blood vessels can occur in youth at blood pressure levels that are below the clinical definition of hypertension in youth.

High blood pressure in youth is defined differently than it is in adults. In childhood, high blood pressure is based on percentiles, rather than blood pressure level. Researchers looked at whether organ damage in teens develops below the 95th percentile, which is the clinical definition of high blood pressure in youth.

Researchers studied blood pressure and measured organ damage in 180 teenagers (14-17 years old, 64% white, 57% males). They found evidence of organ damage even among the youth categorized as “normal” with blood pressure less than in the 80th percentile. They also found heart and vessel damage in the mid-risk group, which had blood pressures in the 80th to 90th percentiles and the high-risk group, with blood pressures above the 90th percentile.

“Some adolescents may have organ damage related to blood pressure and are not targeted for therapy,” said study author Elaine M Urbina from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. “Imaging of the heart may be useful in youth in the high-normal range of blood pressure to determine how aggressive therapy should be.”

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First Published: Sep 18, 2017 10:27 IST