News | Congenital Heart | April 22, 2019

New Pediatric Blood Pressure Guidelines Improve Premature Heart Disease Identification

Children who were reclassified as having elevated blood pressure under new American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines are more likely to develop high blood pressure, thickening of the heart muscle and other conditions that increase heart disease risk when they reach adulthood

New Pediatric Blood Pressure Guidelines Improve Premature Heart Disease Identification

April 22, 2019 — New guidelines that classified more children as having elevated blood pressure  are better at predicting which kids are likely to develop heart disease when they reach adulthood, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension. The guidelines were issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2017 and endorsed by the American Heart Association.

Compared with the 2004 guidelines from the AAP, the 2017 guidelines increased the number of children classified as being in higher blood pressure categories, but it was not clear if the new criteria effectively identified children who were at higher risk of premature heart disease.

“After reviewing years of information from the Bogalusa Heart Study, we concluded that compared with children with normal blood pressure, those reclassified as having elevated or high blood pressure were more likely to develop adult high blood pressure, thickening of the heart muscle wall and the metabolic syndrome – all risk factors for heart disease,” said Lydia A. Bazzano, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.

The Bogalusa Heart Study enrolled participants in childhood and has followed them for 36 years. Childhood test results on 3,940 children (47 percent male, ages 3-18 years and 35 percent African-American) and adult follow-up revealed that:

  • 11 percent of the participants would be identified as having high blood pressure using 2017 guidelines, compared with 7 percent using 2004 guidelines; and

  • 19 percent of those with high blood pressure under 2017 guidelines developed thickening of the heart muscle during the follow-up period, compared with 12 percent of those considered to have high blood pressure under 2004 guidelines.

Not all children identified with high blood pressure under the new guidelines will require medication for the condition.

“For most children with high blood pressure that is not caused by a separate medical condition or a medication, lifestyle changes are the cornerstone of treatment. It’s important to maintain a normal weight, avoid excess salt, get regular physical activity, and eat a healthy diet that is high in fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, lean protein and limited in salt, added sugars, saturated - and trans- fats to reduce blood pressure,” said Bazzano.

Bazzano stressed that lifestyle changes can improve the health of the entire family as well as the child who has been found to have high blood pressure.

The study is limited by the lack of data on actual heart attacks and strokes during adulthood. That data is currently being collected, according to the researchers. Results on participants in the Bogalusa Heart Study, who are from one community in Louisiana, may not be generalizable to the nation as a whole.

For more information: www.ahajournals.org/journal/hyp


Related Content

News | Congenital Heart

August 2, 2022 — About one percent of the world population is born with a congenital heart defect, which affects about ...

Home August 02, 2022
Home
News | Congenital Heart

July 6, 2022 — A team of investigators from Texas Heart Institute, Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of ...

Home July 06, 2022
Home
News | Congenital Heart

May 2, 2022 – Inside embryonic cells, specific proteins control the rate at which genetic information is transcribed ...

Home May 02, 2022
Home
News | Congenital Heart
February 21, 2022—Nearly 1 percent of all children are born with congenital heart disease—a range of potentially life ...
Home February 21, 2022
Home
News | Congenital Heart
February 15, 2022 – More than $625,000 in research grants devoted to congenital heart defects (CHD) were awarded today ...
Home February 15, 2022
Home
News | Congenital Heart

December 14, 2021 – The National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI) announces five awardees ...

Home December 14, 2021
Home
Videos | Congenital Heart

Tom Jones, M.D., director, cardiac cath labs, Seattle Children’s Hospital, explains the importance of the heart team ...

Home September 15, 2021
Home
News | Congenital Heart

June 29, 2021 – Echocardiography with ultrasound enhancing agents (UEAs) has proven to be a valuable imaging procedure ...

Home June 29, 2021
Home
Videos | Congenital Heart

Tom Jones, M.D., director, cardiac catheterization laboratories, Seattle Children’s Hospital, explains some of the new ...

Home May 26, 2021
Home
News | Congenital Heart

May 1, 2021 - An analysis of a new international registry reveals benefits of using a longer covered stent for ...

Home May 01, 2021
Home
Subscribe Now