Thursday, November 23, 2006

Mild untreated hypertension in children could lead to enlargement of heart


United Press International - In children, even mild untreated high blood pressure can lead to a potentially dangerous enlargement of the heart, according to a U.S. study.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City say persistently elevated blood pressure is a well-known risk factor for left-ventricular hypertrophy, or LVH, a thickening or enlarging of the lower left chamber of the heart. Pediatric guidelines say that any elevation in pressure measured in children on three consecutive office visits is by definition evidence of hypertension.
"It's apparently not true for children, at least, that the higher the blood pressure the worse the strain on the heart, and that surprised us," says kidney specialist Dr. Tammy Brady, Johns Hopkins Children's Center. "In this study, children with minimally high, very high and severely high blood pressure had evidence of heart enlargement."
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