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article imageStudy: Up to 8 percent of Canadian children have hypertension

By KJ Mullins     Nov 24, 2010 in Health
Daily stress can lead to high blood pressure in adults. Sadly those stresses are being seen in children by Canadian doctors. A study found up to 8 percent of Canadian children have elevated blood pressure.
Terrence Wade, the Canada Research Chair in youth and wellness at Brock University is completing a five year study funded by the he Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario to determine what social situations can lead to hypertension in children and develop strategies for children to deal with those situations in their daily lives. The results of the study will be part of the program at the Canada Research Chairs conference meeting. The Toronto conference is the first ever in Canada.
Children living in disadvantaged socio-economic homes are more likely to have the type of daily stress that leads to hypertension. Unlike adult hypertension, the condition in children is not defined by specific blood pressure levels but is instead calculated as those children who find themselves in the 95th percentile for high blood pressure. Hypertension in children can lead to physical damage to the heart and cardiovascular system. It also increases the prevalence of heart disease as an adult and brings about a great risk of getting heart disease at a younger age.
Wade and his team found 1.5 per cent to about four per cent of children have what could be classified as serious hypertension but what was a more pressing concern was that 6.5 per cent to eight per cent of children have elevated blood pressure.
"We blame kids for being fat, we blame kids for being inactive, we blame kids not eating right or the families for not feeding their kids right," Wade stated in a press release. "But a lot of these things are not based on individual choices because your life choices and such are constrained by your life chances."
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