The academy also says that if high blood pressure persists, it can lead to heart failure or stroke in adulthood.
Paredes said she sees many young patients with high blood pressure today. "We are having an epidemic of hypertension, mainly in preteens and teenagers, related to overweight and obesity," she said.
However, Paredes doesn't believe most children with high blood pressure need to take medications to lower their pressure or to reduce cholesterol.
The first approach involves lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and lots of exercise, which usually reduce blood pressure, she said.
Only a few children with special medical problems would need to take blood pressure or cholesterol medications, she added.
The task force statement applies only to children and teens with no signs or symptoms of a health problem such as kidney trouble or diabetes. In those cases, controlling high blood pressure could be part of the treatment.
Task force member Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, said, "We are all concerned about preventing cardiovascular disease, and hypertension in adults is a very important risk factor that when we treat actually helps prevent cardiovascular disease."
However, "in children there is not enough solid evidence to suggest that identifying and treating hypertension in childhood actually helps in this prevention," she added. "There is not enough solid evidence to make a recommendation for or against identifying high blood pressure in childhood and treating it."
Bibbins-Domingo, who is an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, said it's up to individual doctors whether or not to screen children and teens.
Further research is needed to settle the issue, she suggested. This includes assessing any adverse effects of screening, including labeling and anxiety, the task force said.
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