Childhood Hypertension A Growing Concern

May 30th, 2010 admin

Blood pressure is no longer an adult entity. One may suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension at any age. One may account such illness due to the complications of certain diseases, whereas another group may acquire hypertension just for their changing lifestyle. The consequence of such flunky habit is obesity. Sedentary lifestyle including remote control electronics, escalator, sports car, junk foods — all may be the blessings of modern era but at the same time denounced the young frantic generation with unhealthy state. Obesity and heart disease just go side by side.

In western world, obese children are no longer considered to be normal. But in our country over-weight or obesity is still out of sense of morbidity. Though we got the burden of malnourished children in our country, still many kids there with hi-fi lifestyle exhibiting obesity or over-weight. On the other hand, the conscious people of the west despite of all efforts could not cut down the figures of obesity. Globally one in six children is over-weight. So the consequence of obesity — hypertension in adolescent age is now pronounced more and more.

In our context, beside obesity, systemic and immune diseases play significant role behind childhood hypertension. Juvenile diabetes, familial hypercholesterolemia, chronic kidney disease due to glomerulo-nephritis, Henoch-Schönlein purpura (a bleeding disorder), drug induced nephropathy (kidney damage by drug) and severe dehydration — all may induce hypertension. But still we have many things to gather as researches are ongoing.

Unsurprisingly, teenagers are now experiencing the same ill effects from sleep deprivation that hypertensive adults do. Recently the study of 238 teenagers (13 to 16 years old) in the USA found that 11 percent slept less than 6.5 hours per night and 26 percent endured frequent awakenings. One in seven teens studied had either borderline high blood pressure or hypertension, which is defined as readings of greater than 140 mm/Hg over 90 mm/Hg. Those with less than 85 percent “sleep efficiently” had nearly three times the risk of high blood pressure. The results mimic established data on adults studied over the past several years, and because higher blood pressure in childhood is linked to the same condition in adulthood, a lack of restorative sleep can set up youngsters for lifelong cardiac problems.

Scientists believe that higher blood pressure results from less sleep because the normal blood pressure dip experienced during restorative sleep does not have as great an opportunity to take hold.

Sleep deprivation’s effects are also system-wide, causing the kidneys to retain more sodium and effecting structural changes in organs that participate in blood pressure regulation, including the kidneys, heart and blood vessels.

So the concern of hypertension in younger group can not be ignored. Health awareness must grow up in both parents and children and to all to restore healthy lifestyle. One must be aware about those diseases and at the same time of healthy food habits. Here are some key points present before you to keep your pressure within limit.

– Eat a rainbow of colours (colourful food). Increase your fruit and vegetable intake.

– Eat fruit and nuts in their natural form as a snack.

– Be physically active. Try walking, biking, or swimming for 30 to 60 minutes on most days.

– Cut down on foods such as cheese, chips, bacon, table sauces, coated chicken, salted nuts and canned meats.

– Eat fewer processed and fast foods like cookies, breakfast cereals, bread, burgers, cakes, pies and pizza.

-Be food label conscious – get to know what you are eating.

-Make at least one vegetarian meal a week.

-Do not skip meals. Eat three adequate meals a day.

-Reducing your portion size and avoiding unnecessary carbohydrates is an easy way to cut back without feeling deprived.

Filed under: Teens Health

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