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17 years old having high blood pressure. What could be the reason?

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Practicing since : 2003
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Question 16 (17 next week) year old son has had 2 blood pressure checks in the 142-150/81 range during the last year. We bought a home monitor today and the outcome has been the same at different time intervals. Is there something specific that would be causing this in a teenager and are there dangers of having high-blood pressure in a teen and, if so what should he do about it? The Nurse Practitioner refused to do his physical because of his elevated blood pressure.
Posted Wed, 21 Nov 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 5 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Increased blood pressure in teens / young adults is very often to to secondary causes, i.e the hypertension is a manifestation of some other medical problem, like endocrine (hormonal) problems, kidney problems, etc. There are several endocrine (hormonal) problems which can often result in elevated blood pressure - like hyperaldosteronism, hyperparathyroidism, etc.

Though 142 to150 systolic BP is only a mild elevation, it is still important to have this properly investigated. Persistently elevated or uncontrolled blood pressure can have long-term adverse effects on multiple systems of the body, and hence needs to be taken seriously.

So, I would advise you to have a thorough evaluation done for your son. This would include a complete physical examination, blood tests (including kidney function tests, cholesterol tests, hormonal tests, etc.) and a cardiac evaluation as well.

You should also advise him to follow some dietary modifications such as a low-salt diet, avoiding red meat and fatty foods and increasing the abount of fruits, vegetables and other fibre-rich foods.

Best wishes,
Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
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