"Screening children and adolescents for elevated blood pressure allows for earlier detection and has the potential to allow effective lifestyle modification to begin earlier in life," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a spokesman for the American Heart Association and a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. This could reduce the risk of death and disability from cardiovascular disease in adulthood, he explained.
This review did not identify any studies directly evaluating the effects of blood pressure screening on health outcomes, Fonarow noted.
"However, a number of studies were identified that showed that when elevated blood pressure was identified it could be safely and effectively lowered in children and adolescents," he said.
The task force, an independent group of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine working to improve Americans' health, welcomes public comment on this report until March 25.
For more on high blood pressure in children, visit the American Heart Association.
SOURCES: Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, medicine and epidemiology and biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., spokesman, American Heart Association, and professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Ana Paredes, M.D., director, Renal Research, Miami Children's Hospital; Feb. 25, 2013, Pediatrics, online
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