Kids with hypertension more likely to fumble in studies
Jun 18, 2009 - 1:23:31 PM

Children with high blood pressure are more likely to have learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - than other children. If they are both hypertensive and obese, they are also more likely to have anxiety and depression too.

A study by the University of Rochester Medical Centre - shows that children with hypertension are four times as likely to have a learning disability and/or ADHD.

ADHD is a condition characterised by behavioural and learning disorders.

'Physicians should be aware that these conditions commonly occur together,' said Marc Lande, study author and paediatric nephrologist at the URMC.

'More studies investigating the potential association between hypertension and neuro-cognitive deficits are definitely needed,' he added.

Lande had authored a paper earlier that showed children with high blood pressure are not as good at complicated, goal-directed tasks, have more working memory complications and not as adept at planning as their peers without hypertension.

The new study followed 201 children aged 10 to 18 years 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 -.

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, said a RUMC release.

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

These findings were presented at the Paediatric Academic Society meeting in Baltimore, US.

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