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.
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. …
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.
“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
Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued new guidelines concerning young athletes with mildly elevated blood pressure. The guidelines state that youth with high blood pressure are safe to participate in sports, but notes that kids with more serious blood pressure problems need to make training and lifestyle changes before taking part in high-intensity sports or workouts.
“The decision on when an athlete with high blood pressure can safely participate in sports is based on the sport they play and the severity of their blood pressure,” says Bridget Quinn, MD, of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Sports Medicine Program. …