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Hypertensive Black Children at Higher Risk Than Non-Blacks

Last Updated: October 18, 2010.

African-American children with primary hypertension have clinical characteristics that place them at higher risk of developing heart disease than non-African-American children, according to research published online Oct. 18 in Pediatrics.

MONDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- African-American children with primary hypertension have clinical characteristics that place them at higher risk of developing heart disease than non-African-American children, according to research published online Oct. 18 in Pediatrics.

Tammy M. Brady, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a study of 184 children and young adults, aged 3 to 20 years, to determine if clinical, laboratory, or echocardiographic characteristics differ by race among children with primary hypertension. The children were identified as either African-American (AA), or non-African-American (non-AA).

After adjustment for age, the researchers found that AA children had a higher prevalence of overweight/obesity, left ventricular hypertrophy, and higher plasma renin activity than non-AA children, but the differences were only significant for children younger than 13 years. For those aged 13 and over, AA children had longer periods of higher blood pressures during 24-hour ambulatory monitoring than non-AA children.

"These findings are similar to those reported in the literature for adult study participants and suggest that black children with hypertension may be at greater cardiovascular risk because of their increased prevalence of obesity, left ventricular hypertrophy, and more pronounced blood pressure elevations," the authors conclude.

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