FRIDAY, Oct. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The estimated pooled prevalence of hypertension in children is 4 percent, according to a review published online Oct. 7 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Peige Song, Ph.D., from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the prevalence of hypertension in the general pediatric population. Forty-seven articles were included in the meta-analysis; included studies had blood pressure measurements from at least three separate occasions.

The researchers found that in children aged 19 years and younger, the estimated pooled prevalence was 4 percent for hypertension, 9.67 percent for prehypertension, 4 percent for stage 1 hypertension, and 0.95 percent for stage 2 hypertension. The prevalence of childhood hypertension was higher when measured by aneroid sphygmomanometer than by mercury sphygmomanometer and oscillometric sphygmomanometer (7.23 percent versus 4.59 and 2.94 percent, respectively) and among overweight and obese versus normal-weight children (15.27 and 4.99 percent, respectively, versus 1.90 percent). In the last two decades there was a trend of increasing prevalence of childhood hypertension; from 2000 to 2015, there was a relative increasing rate of 75 to 79 percent. The prevalence of hypertension ranged from 4.32 percent among children aged 6 years to 3.28 percent among those aged 19 years in 2015; the peak was observed among those aged 14 years (7.89 percent).

“This study suggests that childhood hypertension represents a considerable public health challenge worldwide,” the authors write.

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