The prevalence of childhood hypertension is increasing.1, 2 Studies that apply the 95th percentile definition and repeat measurements on three separate visits, report a pediatric hypertension prevalence of approximately 3.5%3, 4, and among obese children and adolescents the prevalence of both hypertension and prehypertension is even greater. The recently documented increase in hypertension among the young is due largely to the childhood obesity epidemic and possibly other secular changes in lifestyles. These publications and others confirm that hypertension is a prevalent child health condition, especially among overweight and obese children. A consistent positive association between body size and blood pressure level has been observed throughout childhood and adulthood. The report in this issue by Tu et al5 add additional insights on the impact of excess adiposity on blood pressure levels in childhood.
Falkner, Bonita and Gidding, Samuel, "Childhood obesity and blood pressure: back to the future?" (2011). Department of Pediatrics Faculty Papers. Paper 44.