High Blood Pressure In Adolescents

Dr. Purushothaman
November 28, 2013

High blood pressure, which is also known professionally as hypertension, is a condition where the pressure of the blood flowing through your arteries is considerably higher than standard. Most medical practitioners will state that the starting point for people more than eighteen years of age is 120/80. However, there are causes that could make those numbers not normal. Age is one of them.

The first number is the systolic arterial blood pressure, which means that it is the pressure read when the heart contracts, beats or pumps out blood. The second number is while the heart sucks in blood, in order to pump it out again.

These figures are given in millimetres of mercury and are stated as mmHg. Elevated readings of either of these numbers can be a sign of a problem. One thing to make patent here is that it is impossible to deduce or estimate the pressure of your blood without using either a sphygmomanometer ( the one your GP uses in the surgery), which is the gold standard for blood pressure monitoring devices or a home blood monitoring machine.

Blood pressure can become affected by many things such as: time of the day, age, weight, height, mood, fitness, diet, degree of activity and stress, which may or may not be part of 'white coat syndrome' amongst others. 'White coat syndrome' is the worry felt by some people whilst they have to be examined by a medical doctor. This applies to children more than to any other age grouping.

Blood pressure also varies during the day, so in order to acquire an precise reading, it is necessary to take several all at the same time of day. It is also prudent to wait 45 minutes after drinking caffeine or ten minutes after arriving before taking a reading.

So, what is standard? The real answer, although it is maddening, is that only a doctor can tell you, but for an adult, they say that it is 120/80, for an adolescent it is 110/70 and for an infant it is 80/45.

However, while measuring and evaluating the blood pressure of adolescents, you have to bear in mind that age, sex and height count. Therefore, an adolescent is said to have high blood pressure if the blood pressure is more than that of ninety percent of individuals of his/her age, gender and height.

The causes of hypertension are classified as primary or secondary. Primary means that it is all your body's fault and secondary means that the cause is something else, say, medication. Hypertension can also be the result of race or other hereditary reasons. Males of African descent are especially at danger.

One of the items you can purchase to keep you knowledgeable about your family's blood pressure concerns is a home blood pressure monitor. These devices are quite cheap yet are very accurate, so get an automatic digital monitor and take it to your GP to be certain that it is accurate and ask for the readings that are applicable to all the members of your family.

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