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March 2013

Blood Pressure Screening in Children and Adolescents: Is the Glass Half Empty or More Than Half Full?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora.

JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(3):302-304. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.439

Hypertension is prevalent in adults and a potent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Hypertension is present in 33.5% of adult men and women and a risk factor for myocardial infarction, stroke, renal disease, and congestive heart failure. In adults, only 48% of those aware that they have hypertension have their condition controlled.1 Since 1977, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has recommended routine measurement of blood pressure in children starting at age 3 years.2 This recommendation has been adopted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and incorporated into Bright Futures, their recommended approach to childhood preventive care.3