In the last 13 years the risk of suffering arterial hypertension It has increased by 27% among children and adolescents, according to the conclusions of a study conducted in the United States, which has been published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association. According to the authors of the study, this situation could be a consequence of the high body mass indexes (BMI) and the accumulation of fat in the abdomen of children, together with a diet with excess sodium.

To carry out the research, more than 3,200 children were compared to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES), from 1988-1994, with more than 8,300 children included in the NHANES from 1999-2008. It was observed that in the second study a greater number of children presented overweight, and that those whose BMI or waist circumference were 25% higher than those corresponding to their age group, were twice as likely to have high blood pressure.

Children who consumed more sodium were 36% more likely to have high blood pressure than those whose diet was lowest in sodium

Researchers also found in both studies that children who consumed more sodium were 36% more likely to have high blood pressure than those whose diet was lower in sodium. This data is significant because Americans ingest an average of 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day, which is more than double the 1,500 milligrams or less recommended by the American Heart Association.

In the case of children and adolescents, the levels considered as normal blood pressure vary depending on age, sex, height, and even race, since the African-Americans evaluated in this study, for example, had a 28% higher risk of hypertension than non-Hispanic whites. However, the high pressure readings observed by the researchers, and the fact that 80% of the children in both analyzes exceeded the recommended daily sodium intake, indicate the need to prevent childhood obesity and control salt intake in children. the minors.

Primer on Pediatric Hypertension (November 2019).