Stories about: Dr. Michael Ferguson

Hypertension in kids: When to refer

high blood presssure
(Illustration: Fawn Gracey)

We typically associate hypertension with older people, but elevated blood pressure isn’t an uncommon finding in children and adolescents. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), pediatric hypertension occurs in 2 to 5 percent of kids and is one of the top five chronic diseases in children.

Despite those numbers, the diagnosis is missed in up to 75 percent of pediatric patients in primary care settings. “We should be checking blood pressure at every routine well-child visit for kids age 3 and older, and more often in kids with cardiometabolic risk factors, such as obesity and diabetes,” says Corinna Rea, MD, MPH, a pediatrician in Boston Children’s Primary Care at Longwood. …Read More