Is your teenage son or daughter suffering from high blood pressure? Beware, if left uncontrolled the condition can lead to organ damage as in adults, according to a research. The findings showed that organ damage — damage to the heart and blood vessels — from high blood pressure does not only occur in adults, but also in teenagers.
Importantly, the damage in teenagers occurs at blood pressure levels that are below the clinical definition of hypertension in the age group, the researchers said. “Some adolescents may have organ damage related to blood pressure and are not targeted for therapy,” said Elaine M. Urbina, Director at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
“Imaging of the heart may be useful in youth in the high-normal range of blood pressure to determine how aggressive therapy should be.” High blood pressure in teenagers is defined on the basis of percentiles, rather than blood pressure level as in adults.
In the study, presented at the 2017 American Heart Association (AHA) Council on Hypertension in San Francisco, the team looked at whether organ damage in teens develops below the 95th percentile — the clinical definition of high blood pressure in teenagers.
The researchers examined blood pressure and measured organ damage in 180 teenagers (14-17 years old, 64 per cent white, 57 per cent males). The results showed evidence of organ damage even among the youth categorised as “normal” with blood pressure less than in the 80th percentile.
It also revealed heart and vessel damage in the mid-risk group, which had blood pressures in the 80th to 90th percentiles and the high-risk group, with blood pressures above the 90th percentile.