Hypertensive kids more likely to have learning/attention problems

May 04, 2009

Children who have high blood pressure are more likely to have learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than children who are not hypertensive. They are also more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI), an indicator of body fat.

The University of Rochester Medical Center study, which was presented in abstract form at the Pediatric Academic Society meeting today in Baltimore, shows that with hypertension are four times as likely to have a and/or ADHD.

"Clinicians should be aware that these conditions commonly occur together," said Marc Lande, M.D., a pediatric nephrologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center and author of the abstract. "More studies investigating the potential association between hypertension and neurocognitive deficits are definitely needed."

Lande authored a paper in the Journal of Pediatrics earlier this year that showed children with high blood pressure are not as good at complicated, goal-directed tasks, have more working memory problems and are not as adept at planning as their peers without hypertension. If they are both hypertensive and obese, they are also more likely to have and .

The new study followed 201 children 10 to 18 years old who were referred to specialists for high blood pressure. Of those, 100 were diagnosed with hypertension while 101 were determined to either not have hypertension or to have white coat high blood pressure (or normal blood pressure that shoots up when nervous in an exam room). Almost 28 percent of children with hypertension had a learning disability and 20 percent had ADHD. Some of those children had both a learning disability and ADHD, so in total, 40 percent of children with hypertension had a learning disability and/or ADHD.

Dr. Lande points out, "This apparent association between hypertension and learning problems is particularly important in light of the recent increase in in children in this country that has occurred as a result of the dramatic rise in obesity."

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center (news : web)

Explore further: Nipah outbreak in South Asia offers lessons for controlling Ebola in West Africa

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Better ADHD screening is developed

Jul 25, 2006

U.S. researchers say they have improved screening techniques for Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder among substance users.

Recommended for you

A multiscale approach to Ebola response

34 minutes ago

The Ebola outbreak in western Africa continues to spread uncontrolled, affecting thus far five countries. On September 16th, President Obama spoke at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters ...

Overwhelmed west Africa ramps up Ebola response

15 hours ago

West Africa intensified its response to the deadly Ebola epidemic on Sunday, with Sierra Leone uncovering scores of dead bodies during a 72-hour shutdown and Liberia announcing hundreds of new hospital beds.

Sierra Leone reaches final day of Ebola lockdown

18 hours ago

Frustrated residents complained of food shortages in some neighborhoods of Sierra Leone's capital on Sunday as the country reached the third and final day of a sweeping, unprecedented lockdown designed to ...

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

Sep 20, 2014

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

User comments : 0