Evaluation and management of hypertension in childhood

Prog Pediatr Cardiol. 2001 Jan;12(2):177-188. doi: 10.1016/s1058-9813(00)00071-0.


Hypertension, a relatively uncommon problem in childhood except in certain groups of children, is an important cardiovascular risk factor that can have significant health implications, especially the tendency for an elevated blood pressure in childhood to predict the development of adult hypertension. Common causes of childhood hypertension include renal and cardiac disease, as well as essential hypertension in adolescents. Given these factors, it is usually possible to evaluate the hypertensive child in a focused manner that should reveal not only the underlying cause of hypertension, but also its severity. Treatment should incorporate non-pharmacologic approaches as well as antihypertensive medications, and should take into account other cardiovascular risk factors such as hyperlipidemia. This review highlights these and other important issues in the evaluation and management of hypertensive children, and provides practical guidance to the practitioner involved in caring for such patients.