Keeping Tabs on High Blood Pressure in Kids
High blood pressure is on the rise in kids, caused in part by soaring obesity levels. Pediatric guidelines recommend that all children with high blood pressure be tested for kidney disease and heart damage, but a study says many don't get the necessary tests. Researchers who studied more than 950 adolescents with high blood pressure found that only a quarter underwent renal ultrasonography to check for kidney damage and an echocardiogram to assess heart function. Instead, half of all of the kids with high blood pressure had an electrocardiogram, or EKG, a test to evaluate heart function that is recommended for adults but not children. The researchers didn't look at why doctors may use EKGs more often than the recommended tests.
Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, published online July 23, 2012