Kids with high blood pressure struggle to learn

Thursday, November 11, 2010

LONDON - Children with high blood pressure (BP) are four times more likely to struggle to learn than other kids.

US researchers said that besides increasing the risk of heart disease, their study suggested that hypertension (high BP) could also affect mental development in the young.

The journal Paediatrics quoted Heater Adams of University of Rochester Medical Centre as saying: “This study found that children with hypertension are more likely to have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).”

“Although retrospective, this work adds to the growing evidence of an association between hypertension and cognitive function,” Adams added.

Around four percent of children in the US are now estimated to have hypertension, according to the Daily Mail.

The study looked at 201 patients aged between 10 and 18 years who had been referred to the hypertension clinic at Rochester Children’s Hospital. They found 101 had hypertension, or sustained high BP.

Of these, 28 percent had learning disabilities, well above the general population’s rate of five percent. Previous studies excluded children with ADHD because medications can increase blood pressure.

However, researchers included them this time because it is also possible that the higher rate of ADHD among children with hypertension is a reflection of mental development problems caused by hypertension.

Filed under: Blood Pressure, Medicine, World

will not be displayed