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Editorial
October 7, 2019

Understanding the Global Prevalence of Hypertension in Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations
  • 1Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado, Aurora
JAMA Pediatr. Published online October 7, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.3333

Hypertension is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality worldwide. Stroke, heart failure, myocardial infarction, and peripheral arterial disease are all outcomes associated with hypertension in adults.1 Hypertension is also considered to be a major cause of poorer disability-adjusted life-years.2 The prevalence of hypertension in adults has been debated in part because the definition of hypertension has changed over time. The association between blood pressure and cardiovascular disease is a continuous one, making the establishment of a cut point for hypertension difficult. However, defining hypertension has been viewed as important from the perspective of clinical management. On the basis of the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association definition of hypertension, the current prevalence of hypertension in adults in the United States is estimated to be 45.6%.3 This prevalence makes hypertension the leading risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease.

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