Stories about: hypertension

Kids and blood pressure: What every parent should know

hypertension in children

We tend to associate hypertension with older age, but the truth is that anyone can develop high blood pressure — even kids. In fact, pediatric hypertension occurs in 2 to 5 percent of kids and is one of the top five chronic diseases in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. While an elevated blood pressure reading may seem alarming, it isn’t always a sign of a more serious disease. Here’s what every parent should know about blood pressure in kids.

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Double the joy, following heart-lung transplant

Heart lung transplant recipient Nicole with her twin Isabella
Nicole, left, and her twin sister Isabella

Nearly six months following a heart-lung transplant, Nicole Kouri makes a triumphant return to school, alongside her twin sister Isabella. It was a pact she made with her Dad back in August of 2015, while her friends were lying by the pool, soaking up the final days of summer, and Nicole was lying in a bed at Boston Children’s Hospital.

14-year-old Nicole was born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) — otherwise known as a hole in the heart — and pulmonary hypertension, a serious condition associated with VSD that makes it difficult for blood to flow properly through the lungs.

Being sick was Nicole’s “normal.”

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Number of American children hospitalized for high blood pressure skyrockets

By Scott Howe

Image: Flickr_parcelbrat

More and more kids are showing up at hospitals with high blood pressure, according to a new study. Kids with high blood pressure are more prone to develop other risk factors and actual heart disease and stroke. If trends continue, this generation may not live as long as their parents.

Research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension shows that hospital visits for children with high blood pressure doubled between 1996 and 2006. University of Michigan in Ann Arbor researchers looked at hypertension-related health care statistics for U.S. children up to ages 18 or 20 years old over that 10-year period. They found that more than 24,000 kids headed in for treatment during the last year of the study, compared to some 12,000 the first year.

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This week on Thrive: June 21- 25

This week on Thrive:

Is Lady Gaga too much for kids? Michael Rich, MD, MPH, is Children’s media expert. This week he talks about music videos’ influence on kids, specifically Lady Gaga. With catchy choruses and an infectious sound, her music is widely popular, even with younger children, but the thinly-veiled sexuality in her lyrics and videos has some parents concerned.

Working parents, please join the discussion! Claire McCarthy, MD, wrote a Thrive post defending working mothers, in response to a study from the UK linking busy schedules to increased rates of childhood obesity. The post generated a lot of discussion and several readers chimed in with some great advice for raising healthy kids while working full-time. What do you think? Here’s one reader’s reaction:

“Thanks Claire for your well-thought out, well-articulated comments. As a FT working Mom, I agree that there are so many factors that can contribute to our children’s health (or lack of). It’s easier to take one correlation and create a scapegoat rather than take a look at all of the contributors. The societal contributions, especially, often seem too daunting or even impossible to change, so we focus on the scapegoats. We all need to take the appropriate amount of responsibility (no more for those already swimming in Mommy guilt and no less for government officials who don’t provide enough funding for all schools to have healthy options and plenty of exercise) and each do our part.” -Michele

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