Study: Pediatricians Often Miss Opportunities to Address High Blood Pressure in Children

November 13th 2018

Investigators found that communication from pediatric providers about high blood pressure was direct in 16.6%, unclear in 16.6%, minimized in 13%, and absent in 66.7% of recorded visits.

Most children with overweight or obesity who have high blood pressure (BP) do not receive information from their pediatrician about the elevated BP at well-child visits, according to a study to be presented at the

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American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago, IL

Investigators found that communication from pediatric providers about high blood pressure was direct in 16.6%, unclear in 16.6%, minimized in 13%, and absent in 66.7% of recorded visits.

“High blood pressure (BP) in children is under recognized by pediatric providers,” wrote the authors, Nora Bismar, BS, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX; Tammy M Brady, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; and Christy B Turer, MD, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX. “Our aim was to describe and determine factors associated with provider communication of high BP during visits with a child with an elevated BP.”

The study was a cross-sectional analysis of 30 video- or audio-recorded well-child visits with 23 providers for children ages 6-12 who were overweight or obese. Investigators determined elevated blood pressure and hypertension by applying pediatric hypertension thresholds to blood pressure data stored in electronic health records.

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