Evaluation of blood pressure in children and adolescents: a review

J Clin Pediatr Dent. 1999 Spring;23(3):169-72.


Hypertension in children has received minimal attention in the dental literature; this may be the result of comparatively low interest in the subject by the medical community. It is now believed that the processes causing cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality begin early in life. The implication for prevention is that screening and intervention should commence in childhood. Although the prevalence is lower than in adults, elevated blood pressure during childhood is not uncommon. Dentists may be uniquely positioned to screen children for hypertension. Children from poor families may not use medical services except in emergencies, but may visit a dentist as part of Head Start or through other state or federal programs. By incorporating blood pressure screening for children as well as for adults and with appropriate referral, dentists may contribute to the reduction of cardiovascular disease. This review presents a discussion of blood pressure in children and adolescents, the epidemiology and etiology of elevated blood pressure, the problems associated with hypertension, and recommended procedures for measuring blood pressure in children and young adult patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Pressure Determination / methods
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Hypertension* / etiology