Pediatric hypertension: A cause for concern
Valerie Gill MA, MEd, RN
MaryAnn Edelman MS, RN, CNS

March 2012 
Volume 42  Number 3
Pages 54 - 57
  PDF Version Available!

MK, a 15-year-old male, is seen in the clinic for a routine annual physical exam. MK weighs 190 pounds (86.2 kg) and is 5 feet 6 inches tall (BMI 30.7).MK's BP is 150/90 sitting at rest. His mother confirms a family history of hypertension: She was diagnosed with hypertension at age 20. MK's father recently suffered a hemorrhagic stroke secondary to uncontrolled hypertension. MK states that when he's with friends he "smokes cigarettes and drinks beer, just to socialize."MK admits that he doesn't follow any special diet. For breakfast he has a bacon, egg, and cheddar cheese omelet and a can of soda; at lunch he eats whatever his friends have, usually a hot dog with barbeque sauce, and soda. Dinner is usually a burger or fried chicken with French fries. He eats chips at night while playing computer games.Children and adolescents rarely show signs and symptoms of hypertension, so the condition is usually detected during a routine health exam. The increasing rate of hypertension in children and adolescents is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke during adulthood. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that all children and adolescents age 3 and older have yearly BP measurements.1The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) classifies BP readings for children and adolescents according to developmental ages, gender, and height. These guidelines are used to determine normal and abnormal BP readings.2 In childhood, BP normally increases with age and body size. A child and adolescent's gender, age, and height are used to determine specific systolic and diastolic BP percentiles. This approach allows a more precise classification of BP according to body size as the child grows. For more information, see Defining and classifying hypertension in children and adolescents.Many patients, especially children and adolescents, may have what's known as "white coat hypertension." It's often seen in the medical setting, where the child's anxiety about seeing

Purchase Now !

To purchase this item, follow the instructions below. If you’re not already logged in, be sure to enter your login information below to ensure that your item is saved to your File Drawer after you purchase it.

Not a member? Join now for Free!

1) If you're not already logged in, enter your information below to save this item in your File Drawer for future viewing.

User name:


Forgot your user name or password?
2)  If you have a coupon or promotional code, enter it
here.(If not, just click Continue.

Digital Coupon: (optional)

3)  Click Continue to go to the next screen, where
you'll enter your payment details.

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events