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High BP Can Cause Organ Damage In Teenagers

High blood pressure can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels in teenagers just like it affects adults, a study has warned. The damage can occur at blood pressure levels that are below the clinical definition of hypertension in youth

High BP Can Cause Organ Damage In Teenagers

High blood pressure may lead to organ damage in teens

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. High BP can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels in teens
  2. High blood pressure in youth is defined differently than it is in adults
  3. They found evidence of organ damage even among the youth with normal BP

High blood pressure can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels in teenagers just like it affects adults, a study has warned. The damage can occur at blood pressure levels that are below the clinical definition of hypertension in youth, researchers said. 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 from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital in the US looked at whether organ damage in teens develops below the 95th percentile, which is the clinical definition of high blood pressure in youth.

They studied blood pressure and measured organ damage in 180 teenagers (14-17 years old, 64 per cent white, 57 per cent males). They found evidence of organ damage even among the youth categorised 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 Elaine M Urbina, from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre in the US.


"Imaging of the heart may be useful in youth in the high-normal range of blood pressure to determine how aggressive therapy should be," said Urbina.

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