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J Hum Hypertens. 1994 May;8(5):303-11.

Epidemiology of early primary hypertension and implications for prevention: the Bogalusa Heart Study.

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  • 1Tulane Center for Cardiovascular Health, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112-2824.


Epidemiological studies of BPs in children and young adults over the past 20 years have contributed considerably to understanding the early onset of primary hypertension. Observations from autopsies and echocardiographic studies, together with long-term BP studies, of children clearly indicate that primary hypertension begins in early childhood. Although abnormal BP levels in children are much lower than the adult criteria used for clinical diagnosis of hypertension, essential hypertension is identifiable in early life. Complex haemodynamic and metabolic mechanisms related to essential hypertension are also being identified in childhood. The development of intervention programs in an attempt to prevent hypertension in its early phases suggests hypertensive cardiovascular disease is preventable. Environmental factors (improved dietary factors, altering electrolyte intake, prevention of obesity and increased activity levels) are critical elements to prevention. Children and young adults identified as high risk for hypertension need to be targeted for prevention of early cardiovascular renal disease. Also, as hypertension is so prevalent, attempts should be made to control environmental factors in the general public. Preventive programmes established by primary healthcare physicians, paediatricians and para-professionals can have a major impact on the reduction of hypertension and its complications of cardiovascular renal disease in the future.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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