Children and teens in deprived neighborhoods more likely to have hypertension, study finds

KENTUCKY- Norton Children’s says that children and teens who live in deprived neighborhoods are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension than peers in other living areas. This is according to a study by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). 

Doctors say this finding is quite significant. 

Hypertension is high blood pressure, or when the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. 

The CDC estimates about 1.3 million youth between the ages of 12 to 19 suffer from hypertension and even more have elevated blood pressure or prehypertension. 

Doctors recommend healthy diets, exercise, and stress reduction to combat hypertension early…also medication in severe cases. 

“If you have high blood pressure when you’re 12, then you’ve already had it for 20 years by the time you’re 32. And you start seeing those complications even earlier in life. If you can identify it early, stop it early, then prevent complications from happening, that’s the goal,” said Norton Children’s Medical Group Dr. Heather Felton. 

If left untreated, hypertension can lead to more serious conditions like heart disease. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States.