Kids Blood Pressure Rising

In the May 5, 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association comes a study that implies that blood-pressure levels are increasing among young Americans. The study implied the increase is partly attributable to a heightened prevalence of kids being overweight.

More than 5,500 children were active in the study. Every one of the kids were between the age of 8 to 17. The research was taken from 1988 to 1994 and again in 1999 and 2000. In that length of time, the blood pressure readings for the group had risen from an average blood pressure reading of 104 / 58 to an average of 106 / 61.

Paul Muntner of Tulane University in New Orleans, chief author of the report, commented, "These results suggest that in another 10 to 20 years we will be facing much higher rates of hypertension, heart disease and stroke as these children become adults." He continued by saying, " We assume a lot of the increase in blood pressure levels is related to changes in the way children are eating and exercising."

In the report, researchers said less than 30 % of the overall blood-pressure increase mentioned in the study can be due to weight gain. The study suggested battling high blood pressure among children and adolescents with programs which include weight control, increased physical activity, and changes in diet. "Such interventions could have a profoundly positive impact on the prevalence of high blood pressure in the United States," the report said.

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