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What would cause high blood pressure in a child?

Unlike high blood pressure in adults, doctors can almost always find the cause of hypertension in a child: kidney disease, blocked blood vessels, hormone abnormalities, pinching of the main blood vessels, or obesity. Many children with untreated high blood pressure have evidence of heart damage called left ventricular hypertrophy. The incidence of high blood pressure in children is increasing, probably because of the increased incidence of obesity (American Family Physician, Volume 73, 2006).

Whatever the cause, your child must learn how to control weight by exercising more and taking in fewer calories by limiting foods made with refined carbohydrates, saturated fats or partially hydrogenated oils. He or she will certainly need medication, at least until blood pressure is reduced or a cause is found. The drugs with the fewest side effects are ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers.

June 15, 2006

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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