Number of children with high blood pressure skyrockets

Photo Courtesy of WKRN
Photo Courtesy of WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The number of children with high blood pressure has skyrocketed.

Twenty years ago, 1 in 100 children had hypertension. That number is 1 in 20 kids today.

According to Dr. Tray Hunley, who works for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, hypertension in children can lead to more health problems down the line.

“The incidence of hypertension in kids has paralleled the obesity epidemic… so about a third of obese kids will have hypertension — so as obesity has increased in the last mainly 20 years, there’s been a rapid need for our services for treating kids with blood pressure elevation.”

Hypertension can also make children more likely to suffer from a heart attack and stroke later in life.

Dr. Hunley says diet and exercise can prevent high blood pressure, while a healthy lifestyle can reverse the condition in many cases.

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