A simplified table improves the recognition of paediatric hypertension
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Louisville, School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, USA. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
(Impact Factor: 1.15).
10/2010; 47(1-2):22-6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01885.x
Unrecognised and untreated hypertension can lead to significant morbidity and mortality over time. In a 2003 chart review, we found that our providers only recognised 15% of hypertensive blood pressure (BP). Our objective was to determine whether a simplified BP table improves the recognition of elevated BP in children.
We developed a simplified BP table for children 3-18 years and posted it in provider work areas beginning August 2006. We reviewed a retrospective sample of well visits for children aged 3-18 years, with equal numbers by sex and year of age, presenting at a university-based paediatric clinic between January and August 2007. Visit notes for all children with elevated BP values ≥ 90th percentile were reviewed to identify whether the provider recognised that the BP was elevated.
In 493 well visits, 85 (17.2%) children had pre-hypertensive (90th to < 95th percentile) and 100 (20.3%) had hypertensive (≥ 95th percentile) BP values. Providers recognised elevations in 34 (40%) pre-hypertensive and 77 (77%) hypertensive measurements. Recognition was significantly more common for those in the hypertensive than the pre-hypertensive range (χ² = 24.9, degrees of freedom= 1, P < 0.001). Compared with our 2003 data, recognition of hypertensive BP values was significantly greater (77% vs. 15%) (t = 14.479, degrees of freedom = 98, P <0.001) after introduction of the simplified BP table.
Use of a simplified BP table can lead to significantly improved recognition of elevated BP in children.
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- "Several electronic mobile applications now allow direct BP entry to calculate child specific percentiles without resorting to complex tables. In a busy practice, educating nursing staff responsible for patient intake, and employing a simplified approach for BP evaluation may improve the recognition of pediatric hypertension. For example, a nurse may start by having the child rest in the seated position while the caregiver is answering intake questions. "
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ABSTRACT: There has been increasing emphasis on hypertension and early cardiovascular disease in the pediatric age group over the past decade as a result of various factors, including the obesity epidemic and publication of new clinical guidelines. A key component of identifying children and adolescents with definite or potential hypertension is proper blood pressure (BP) measurement. While ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) offers the potential for improved detection of youths at increased cardiovascular risk, it has not been widely adopted. This commentary highlights the crucial role of ABPM in the context of current trends, while at the same time identifying the current barriers to more widespread application of this technique. Chief among these is the lack of a robust, universally applicable database of pediatric ABPM normative values. Even in the absence of ideal normative data, ABPM can and should be widely applied, and a potential algorithm for such an approach is presented.
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ABSTRACT: Primary hypertension in children is increasing in prevalence with many cases likely going undiagnosed. The prevalence is currently estimated at between 3%-5% in the United States and may be higher in certain ethnic groups. Primary hypertension, once felt to be rare in children, is now considered to be about five times more common than secondary hypertension. This review provides information to guide physicians through an organized approach to: 1) screening children and adolescents for hypertension during routine visits; 2) using normative percentile data for diagnosis and classification; 3) performing a clinical evaluation to identify the presence of co-morbidities; 4) initiating a plan of care including subsequent follow-up blood pressure measurements, therapeutic lifestyle changes and pharmacologic therapies.
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