What is the incidence of hypertension (high blood pressure) in children?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

The true incidence of hypertension in the pediatric population is not known, although various health data showed a decreasing trend between 1963 and 1988, followed by an upward trend. Hypertension is now commonly discovered in children, and the long-term health risks to these children may be substantial.

Systemic hypertension is less common in children than in adults, but the incidence of hypertension in children is approximately 1-5%. The presence of hypertension in younger children is usually indicative of an underlying disease process (secondary hypertension). In children, approximately 5-25% of cases of secondary hypertension are attributed to renovascular disease.


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