HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE SYMPTOMS CAUSES DIET & TREATMENT

Dr.Armughan Riaz
M.B.B.S, Dip Card
Consultant Cardiologist

 

High Blood Pressure In Infants

High Blood Pressure In Infants. It is estimated that nearly 5% of kids may have high blood pressure and the chances of a newborn having high blood pressure is unfortunately on the increasing trend

High Blood Pressure In Infants

You must be thinking that hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition limited to adults only, now think again. Newborns, infants and teenagers could also suffer from high blood pressure. It is estimated that nearly 5% of kids may have high blood pressure and the chances of a newborn having high blood pressure is unfortunately on the increasing trend.

Infants and Newborn babies usually have hypertension when they are born pre-term or they have congenital problems with the kidneys or the heart. It has been noticed however that when kids have high blood pressure usually there is a family history of such conditions and/or coupled with a poor lifestyle including bad diets, obesity or physical activity is inadequate.

Hypertension High blood pressure in infants are however, caused by premature birth or they have problems with other organs like the lungs, heart, kidneys even their vascular system may also be involeved. Premature babies are often born with a condition called broncho-pulmonary dysplasia, In this condition lungs essentially are immature.

These infants may also have problems like coarctation of the aorta, which means that the major blood vessel which carries blood to the heart is narrowed anywhere from ascending to descending aorta. High blood pressure in infants could also be due to a blood clot in blood vessels of kedney.

 

Side effect of some medications may also be a cause of high blood pressure in infants

Side effect of some medications may also be a cause of high blood pressure in infants, exposure to hallucinogenic drugs like cocaine while in the womb, some types of tumors, genetic problems or issues related to the thyroid gland functioning. Newborn babies are supposed to have blood pressure as 64/41 and it rises as the baby grows. So an average baby between one-month to 2 years would have the blood pressure reading as 95/58. Slight variations from these figures should not be a matter of concern but more than this medical help should be sought immediately.

In normal, there are no symptoms of high blood pressure in infants but there could be symptoms of the condition that is responsible for the high blood pressure or HBP. These include rapid breathing bluish or pale skin, zero weight gain or growth, frequent urinary tract infections etc.

Easy irritability, vomiting, troublesome breathing and even seizures are Other common symptoms when the infant has very high blood pressure . To be sure that the infant has indeed HBP, the only way is to measure the blood pressure, which for infants is done using an automatic device.

Suppose if the High blood pressure is due to coarctation of the aorta, the pulses in the legs could be reduced. Other tests to diagnose high blood pressure in infants include abdominal ultrasonography angiography, lab tests of blood and urine, X rays of chest and abdomen, ECG and MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

 

How to treat high blood pressure in infants?

In simple words, always treat the cause. Treatment for high blood pressure in infants largely depends on the cause behind the condition and may include: drug therapy, dialysis or surgical intervention like transplantation or coarctation repairing. The recovery rate for the infant would again depend on the cause of hypertension.

When will you contact your doctor, As a parent you ought to be alert when to seek medical help and these would be when you notice your baby is not gaining weight or has bluish skin, suffers from urinary tract infections often and seems irritable all the time.

 

How to prevent this condition?

Unfortunately there is no way that high blood pressure in infants can be prevented. However there are some steps one can take to reduce the risk of such conditions. For instance, take the advice of a doctor before becoming pregnant, if you have a family history of congenital heart disease, hypertension or kidney disease. Also if you are on medication, taking them during pregnancy may also harm the baby and cause such situations to develop. Thus it is best to consult the doctor before you decide to become a mother or taking any medicine during pregnancy.


Incidentally, a study done in the Netherlands involving 450 babies was done, and reported in the August 1, 2007 issue of Insider medicine confirms that babies born to smokers have a high chance of developing high blood pressure. The study also confirmed that babies born to smokers were considerably smaller and shorter compared to those born to non-smokers. So better to avoid smoking all the times.

 



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