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ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- A new national study shows a dramatic increase in hospitalizations for children with high blood pressure, a doubling over the past decade.
A local hypertension specialist says that’s definitely the case in the St. Louis area.
St. Louis University and Cardinal Glennon pediatric nephrologist, Dr. Craig Belsha says there’s a misconception that hypertension is just an adult disease, but it isn’t.
“High blood pressure is more common than some other problems in childhood such as autism or epilepsy,” Belsha says. “The increasing rates of obesity among children and adolescents has increased the frequency of high blood pressure.”
Belsha says parents need to keep their kids active, maintain a healthy diet, and get their blood pressure checked at least once a year.
The children most at risk are over 9-years-old, boys, and African-Americans.