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HHS HealthBeat (November 29, 2013)

Bigger kid, higher pressure

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Researchers say high blood pressure, or hypertension, can be seen in childhood – and that overweight or obese kids are more likely to show it. At Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, Corinna Koebnick examined data on more than 237,000 6- to 17-year-olds.

``Compared to normal weight children, moderately obese children have a four times higher risk, and extremely obese children have a 10 times higher risk, to develop hypertension.’’

Koebnick says about 2 percent of the youngsters had high blood pressure. And 31 percent had elevated blood pressure.

Koebnick says kids should get blood pressure checks, and should be physically active and control their weight.

The study in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: November 29, 2013