Heavier Children Have Increased Risk of Hypertension

Children who are above average in weight have higher risks of developing hypertension.
Children who are above average in weight have higher risks of developing hypertension.

A Kaiser Permanente study of more than 800,000 young individuals in the three to seventeen year age group, presented consequential results. It revealed a 26% increased risk of hypertension amongst those with relatively excess average weight when compared to those who had weight closer to what is known as average weight.

Hypertension, if not taken care of in childhood, can develop into adulthood with possible risks of organ damage to the heart, blood vessels and other organs. As this kind of damage can be irreversible in the future, it is significant for the current and upcoming generations to guard themselves against hypertension. The opined results of this Kaiser research further prove the adverse ramifications of few extra pounds in our children.

This contemporary retrospective cohort investigation surveyed the electronic medical records of 801,019 young people enrolled at Kaiser Permanente in the Southern California region between 2008 to 2015. Scientists observed the youths’ initial body mass index (BMI) alongside their modifications in BMI during the span of five years. The researchers also scrutinized their blood pressure to recognize those with hypertension.

Experts divided normal body weight into low (5th through 39th percentile), medium (40th percentile to 59th percentile), and high (60th percentile to 84th percentile) categories so as to gain an understanding into the likelihood of hypertension at a weight lower than the usual overweight caliber. In contrast to adults, BMI ratings for children and adolescents must be interpreted relative to other individuals with corresponding age and gender.

This latest research has brought some unfavorable news to light regarding the health of youngsters. In this study, the statistics revealed that children who fall in the high range of average weight have a 26% higher likelihood of developing hypertension compared to those within the medium range.

Moreover, a child’s increase in weight as time progresses poses an alarming threat to their well-being. With every BMI unit gained annually, their chances of developing hypertension escalate by 4%.

The study also divulged that hypertension was more prevalent among boys than girls, and those belonging to state-subsidized health plans were more severely affected than those who weren’t. These facts have certainly highlighted the significance of monitoring one’s health from an early age and taking appropriate measures for disease prevention.

Source: Association of High Normal Body Weight in Youths With Risk of Hypertension