Hypertension Among Youths — United States, 2001–2016
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Hypertension Among Youths — United States, 2001–2016

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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Hypertension is an important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and hypertension in adolescents and young adults is associated with long-term negative health effects (1,2).* In 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a new Clinical Practice Guideline (3), which updated 2004 pediatric hypertension guidance| with new thresholds and percentile references calculated from a healthy-weight population. To examine trends in youth hypertension and the impact of the new guideline on classification of hypertension status, CDC analyzed data from 12,004 participants aged 12-19 years in the 2001-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). During this time, prevalence of hypertension declined, using both the new (from 7.7% to 4.2%, p<0.001) and former (from 3.2% to 1.5%, p<0.001) guidelines, and declines were observed across all weight status categories. However, because of the new percentile tables and lower threshold for hypertension (4), application of the new guideline compared with the former guideline resulted in a weighted net estimated increase of 795,000 U.S. youths being reclassified as having hypertension using 2013-2016 data. Youths who were older, male, and those with obesity accounted for a disproportionate share of persons reclassified as having hypertension. Clinicians and public health professionals might expect to see a higher prevalence of hypertension with application of the new guideline and can use these data to inform actions to address hypertension among youths. Strategies to improve cardiovascular health include adoption of healthy eating patterns and increased physical activity (3).
  • Pubmed ID:
    30001558
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6047471
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