Navigation Links
Nearly 1 in 5 W.Va. 5th Graders May Have High Blood Pressure
Date:10/13/2010

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 20 percent of fifth graders in West Virginia may have elevated blood pressure, according to new research from an ongoing study identifying heart disease risk factors.

"The real thrust of this research is trying to get some attention on the fact that we need to screen for hypertension [high blood pressure] in children. And, while one reading done at school isn't diagnostic, the school nurse can record that information and send it home for the parents to follow-up with their child's physician," said study author Valerie E. Minor, associate director of surveillance of the CARDIAC (Coronary Artery Risk Detection in Appalachian Communities) project and an associate professor of nursing at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, W.Va.

Minor is scheduled to present the findings Wednesday at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2010 Scientific Sessions in Washington, D.C.

The CARDIAC project was started because West Virginia has a significantly higher age-adjusted rate of death from heart disease than the national average -- 21 percent higher, according to Minor's presentation.

Risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, have their roots in childhood, but there are no universal population-based screenings for blood pressure levels in children.

For the CARDIAC study, West Virginia schools conducted blood pressure screenings on more than 62,000 fifth graders. In that group, 12,245 had blood pressure readings above the 95th percentile for their height and gender.

Youngsters carrying extra weight fared the worst. The rate of blood pressure readings above the 95th percentile in normal weight children was 12 percent, said Minor. But, for overweight children, the rate was 19 percent. In obese children, it was almost 33 percent, said Minor.

"These numbers are so significant that we're really concerned about this," said Minor, but she added that the study's findings need to be validated by another study and in different populations. West Virginia's population tends to be heavier than that of many other U.S. states, but Minor said other studies looking at the rate of high blood pressure in children usually found levels close to what was seen here.

Screening children for high blood pressure is more difficult than screening adults, Minor added. "In children, you have to listen to sounds and changes in the blood pressure as well, and age, gender and size matter. The results have to be put into a percentile. Blood pressure readings aren't the same in children as they are in adults," she said.

The current study also identified several hurdles to getting accurate blood pressure readings in schools, including a need for qualified personnel to do the screenings. Scheduling testing in the school day and quieting children down beforehand to get a truer reading are challenges as well, the researchers found.

The researchers also discovered that there aren't really blood pressure cuffs made for overweight children, Minor said. A cuff made for adults is too long from shoulder to elbow, while a standard child-size cuff doesn't fit properly around the arm. Minor said she had a hard time finding the right cuff, and she expects that other health care providers will as well.

Dr. Michael Moritz, clinical director of pediatric nephrology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, agreed with Minor that one school-based screening can't diagnose high blood pressure in children.

"Hypertension is a dynamic variable. To really determine what hypertension is, it needs to be checked on three separate occasions," said Moritz.

"Nonetheless, this widespread screening showed a significant number of children with elevated blood pressure. And, when blood pressure is high, cardiac morbidity goes up. This study sends a message that as a community and as a society we need to get more serious about healthy eating and lifestyle changes, like changing sedentary lifestyles," he said.

"It's difficult and, unfortunately, there's no silver bullet, but we need to take charge of our own lifestyles and our children's to teach them healthy ways," said Minor.

More information

To read more about high blood pressure in children, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Valerie Evans Minor, M.S.N., R.N., associate director, surveillance, CARDIAC Project, and associate professor, nursing, Alderson-Broaddus College, Philippi, W.Va.; Michael Moritz, M.D., clinic director, pediatric nephrology, medical director, pediatric dialysis, and associate professor, pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; Oct. 13, 2010, presentation, American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2010 Scientific Sessions, Washington D.C.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists receive nearly $11 million to develop radiation countermeasures
2. Eye Disease Affects Nearly One in Three Diabetics
3. Nearly 1 in 5 Californians report need for mental health services, study finds
4. Susan G. Komen awards Case Western Reserve nearly $500,000 to study breast cancer in older women
5. Number of Uninsured Jumped By Nearly 3 Million in 2009
6. Suntricity Power Stations Report Nearly 100% Percent Uptime Suntricity Power Stations using AC power more reliable than standard sun powered solar systems
7. Infectious diseases caused two-thirds of the nearly 9 million child deaths globally in 2008
8. Medical costs of cancer have nearly doubled over the past 2 decades
9. Radiation Risks Nearly Double for Younger CT Scan Patients
10. MDS, a blood cancer, strikes nearly 5 times more Americans than previously thought
11. Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Have Heart Risk Factors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nearly 1 in 5 W.Va. 5th Graders May Have High Blood Pressure
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension ... that it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to ... its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they are ... drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides quality ... and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB ... Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards ... in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. ... years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars of capital ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and other difficult to transfect cells, announces ... Medium. The PluriQ™ G9™ Gene Editing System is a complete system ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Dehaier Medical ... the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical devices ... , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan ... "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to develop ... the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was ... Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member ... independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, ... (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is ... a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: