Published online Dec 23, 2011. doi: 10.5494/wjh.v1.i1.15
Revised: October 27, 2011
Accepted: December 16, 2011
Published online: December 23, 2011
Pediatric hypertension (HTN) has become the focus of interest recently due to its increasing prevalence. This is mainly related to the increase in childhood obesity, although the current evidence suggests that other lifestyle factors, apart from obesity, contribute to high blood pressure (BP) in childhood. Traditionally, office BP measurements by the physician have been the cornerstone for the assessment of HTN in children. However, since the white coat and masked HTN phenomena are not rare in childhood, out-of-office BP measurements have significantly improved the accurate diagnosis of HTN and decision making. Ambulatory BP monitoring is regarded as indispensable for the evaluation of pediatric HTN, providing details not only for the staging for HTN, but also for the study of other ambulatory BP patterns. It should be pointed out that HTN in children and adolescents is associated with target-organ damage which is significant in terms of cardiovascular risk. The current knowledge, outlined in the present review, is expected to help in early and accurate diagnosis as well as in the management of HTN in children and adolescents.