Is it the time to screen for high blood pressure all children and adolescents in Ireland?

Niamph Kennedy, Pier Paolo Bassareo

Abstract


Similar to other kinds of chronic diseases, hypertension tends to develop many years before the onset of its clinical signs and symptoms. In this respect, children with higher blood pressure values are more likely to become hypertensive during adulthood. According to literature data, the averaged prevalence of paediatric hypertension is around 5% in Europe and 3.5% in the USA. A strong relationship with familial history, smoking, overweight/obesity, salt intake, and diabetes has been demonstrated as well.
Conversely, similar evidences are substantially still lacking in Ireland, and only sporadic data are available. What is known is the fact that a large number of adults in the Island are affected by high blood pressure and their number is expected to raise notably, with significant adverse consequences for these subjects and their families, the health and social care system and the economy of all Ireland. Based on these premises, preventive measures are strongly needed to identify those Irish children and adolescents with high blood pressure, as an early modification of their unhealthy lifestyle may be still effective to normalize its values with no drugs administration.

Keywords


blood pressure; hypertension; children; adolescents; prevention; Ireland

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