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Hypertension in obese children and adolescents

DOI: 10.2298/sarh0902091p

Keywords: primary hypertension , obesity , children , metabolic syndrome

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Obesity, especially upper body fat distribution, has become an increasingly important medical problem in children and adolescents. Outcomes related to childhood obesity include, as in adult population, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, left ventricular hypertrophy, obstructive sleep apnea, orthopedic and socio-psychological problems. Obese children are at approximately 3-fold higher risk for hypertension from non-obese ones. Obesity-hypertension appears to be characterized by a preponderance of isolated systolic hypertension, increased heart rate and blood pressure variability, increased levels of plasma catecholamine and aldosterone, and salt-sensitivity. Lifestyle changes of weight loss, healthier diet and regular physical exercise are effective in obesity-hypertension control, though pharmacological treatment is frequently necessary. Screening for dyslipidemia and impaired glucose tolerance should be performed in paediatric patients with obese hypertension on regular basis, at least once annually or semiannually to discover metabolic syndrome and to prevent its increased cardiovascular risk. Of course, prevention of obesity is the primary goal. .


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