While hypertension (high blood pressure) is generally thought of as an adult disease, a growing number of children are being diagnosed with this condition. The Pediatric Hypertension Program at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has multidisciplinary physician expertise to provide a unique comprehensive approach to the evaluation and management of infants, children and adolescents with hypertension. We offer advanced diagnostic methods, and experience with the latest antihypertensive drug therapies.
Blood pressure is the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries. A blood pressure reading is determined by measuring the systolic (pressure in the arteries when the heart beats) and diastolic (pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest) pressures. The systolic number is written over the diastolic number, such as 120/80.
There are two types of hypertension:
- Primary hypertension – no identifiable reason for having high blood pressure
- Secondary hypertension – high blood pressure caused by another medical condition, such as kidney problems or diabetes
If hypertension is not treated, it can lead to other medical problems, including heart failure, kidney failure and stroke.
Children with hypertension are seen in the general nephrology (kidney) clinics to maximize accessibility to our specialists. We offer ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (a portable way to regularly take blood pressure readings that your doctor monitors), and have expert pediatric echocardiographers (using ultrasound to examine anatomy of the heart to diagnose changes caused by poorly-controlled hypertension).
Families will be instructed on home blood pressure monitoring and dietary modification by our pediatric nurse practitioners and dietitians. Other lifestyle changes may be recommended, such as exercise and relaxation techniques. Children requiring drug therapy will be closely monitored in partnership with their primary physicians. A variety of medications are available, depending on the severity of your child’s hypertension and if other medical conditions are present. One or more drugs may be recommended.
A particular strength of our program is our collaborative care of children with aortic and kidney vascular (related to the blood vessels) disease in association with our world-class vascular surgeons. The University of Michigan is a leader in the surgical repair of these diseases in children.
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Schedule an appointment by calling us at 734-936-4210.