Send to

Choose Destination
J Pediatr. 2015 Jul;167(1):92-7.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.04.016. Epub 2015 May 7.

Hypertension Prevalence, Cardiac Complications, and Antihypertensive Medication Use in Children.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI; Department of Pediatrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD. Electronic address:
Department of Pediatrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD.



To determine the prevalence of hypertension diagnosis in children of US military members and quantify echocardiography evaluations, cardiac complications, and antihypertensive prescriptions in the post-2004 guideline era.


Using billing data from military health insurance (TRICARE) enrollees, hypertension cases were defined as 2 or more visits with a primary or unspecified hypertension diagnosis during any calendar year or 1 such visit if with a cardiologist or nephrologist.


During 2006-2011, the database contained an average 1.3 million subjects aged 2-18 years per year. A total of 16 322 met the definition of hypertension (2.6/1000). The incidence of hypertension increased by 17% between 2006 and 2011 (from 2.3/1000 to 2.7/1000; P < .001). Hypertension was more common in adolescents aged 12-18 years than in younger children (5.4/1000 vs 0.9/1000). Among patients with hypertension, 5585 (34%) underwent echocardiography. The frequency of annual echocardiograms increased from 22.7% to 27.7% (P < .001). In patients with echocardiography, 8.0% had left ventricular hypertrophy or dysfunction. Among the patients with hypertension, 6353 (38.9%) received an antihypertensive medication.


The prevalence of hypertension in children has increased. Compliance with national guidelines is poor. Of pediatric patients with hypertension who receive an echocardiogram, 1 in 12 had identified cardiac complications, supporting the current recommendations for echocardiography in children with hypertension. Less than one-half of children with hypertension are treated with medication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center