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High blood pressure in childhood may raise risk of heart attack, stroke later by 4 times: Study

IANS May 04, 2024

Hypertension in childhood and adolescence may raise the long-term risk of serious heart conditions like stroke and heart attack, by four times, according to a new study on 3 May.

Hypertension is known to affect one in every 15 children and adolescents worldwide and has become a growing concern.

To understand its long-term effect, researchers compared 25,605 children and adolescents diagnosed with hypertension between 1996 and 2021 in Ontario, Canada, to peers without the condition.

The follow-up of 13 years showed that those with hypertension had a two to four times higher risk of experiencing heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or cardiac surgery compared to those without it.

Experts called for boosting blood pressure screening and treatment during childhood to reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular disease as an adult.

"Devoting more resources to paediatric blood pressure screening and control could lower the risks of long-term heart conditions in children with hypertension," said Cal H. Robinson, paediatric nephrology fellow at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Canada.

"More awareness about the importance of regular screening and follow-up for paediatric hypertension may prevent children from developing significant adverse heart outcomes later in life," Robinson added.

The findings will be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2024 Meeting, held May 3-6 in Toronto.

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