More Children Hospitalized for High Blood Pressure, Study Shows

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(CBS) – A new study shows a dramatic increase in hospitalizations for children with high blood pressure.

New research shows high blood pressure is landing more children in the hospital. The study in the journal Hypertension finds hospitalizations nearly doubled for kids under 18 between 1997 and 2006. Children most at risk were more than 9 years old, boys and African-American.

“It can cause damage, irreversible damage to the heart, and kidneys and eyes set them up for cardiovascular disease as an adults,” says Dr. Rick Kaskel, Chief of Pediatric Nephrology at Montefiore Hospital.

Experts say the rise in childhood obesity may be behind the recent jump in hospital stays for high blood pressure. To stay on top of it, many patients are forced to take multiple medications as well as being instructed to get plenty of exercise.  However new technology to monitor blood pressure closely can help.

“I’m able to put it on by myself, plug into my iPod and through an app it will take my blood pressure, show me what it is and I can email it to my doctor and to my mom,” explains high blood pressure sufferer Kyle Mutschler.

High blood pressure can often go undiagnosed. It’s recommended that doctors start measuring a child’s blood pressure at age 3.

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