New research shows that teenagers -- not just adults -- should be concerned about high blood pressure, which can lead to more serious problems.
High blood pressure and obesity among children have been on the rise since the 1970s, and a symptom of obesity is high blood pressure, according to a Healthy Women article. Obesity, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle and family history can contribute to increased odds of high blood pressure.
The study showed that high blood pressure can lead to "organ damage in the brain, eyes, heart and kidneys," if it goes undiagnosed, Dr. Elaine Urbina, director of preventive cardiology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and leader of the study, said in the article.
Additionally, the study found that some teens who do not have high blood pressure also could have heart and blood vessel damage. Researchers reviews teens whose blood pressure was below the 95th percentile for organ damage and found some teens in the "normal" range had some damage, including arterial stiffness. They also found that mid-risk and high-risk also had organ damage, the article states.
Parents of children who are overweight or have been diagnosed with high blood pressure should closely follow the advice of a pediatrician, the article said. A healthy diet and regular exercise are two ways to prevent and treat high blood pressure.