Official reprint from UpToDate®
www.uptodate.com ©2016 UpToDate®

Evaluation and diagnosis of hypertension in infants between one month and one year of age

Tej K Mattoo, MD, DCH, FRCP
Section Editor
F Bruder Stapleton, MD
Deputy Editor
Melanie S Kim, MD


The diagnosis of hypertension is typically made by comparing blood pressure (BP) with normative BP values. However, it is challenging to make the diagnosis of hypertension in infants because of the lack of robust normative data and because BP is not routinely measured in healthy infants.

The definition of hypertension based on available data, risk factors, and etiology for hypertension in infants between one month and one year of age will be reviewed here. The etiology and risk factors of hypertension in neonates and older children, and the management of hypertension in infants are discussed separately. (See "Etiology, clinical features, and diagnosis of neonatal hypertension" and "Epidemiology, risk factors, and etiology of hypertension in children and adolescents".)


As in older children, the definition of hypertension in infants is based upon blood pressure (BP) percentiles. The systolic and diastolic BPs are of equal importance in determining the following BP categories (see "Definition and diagnosis of hypertension in children and adolescents"):

Normal BP – Both systolic and diastolic BP <90th percentile.

Prehypertension – Systolic and/or diastolic BP ≥90th percentile but <95th percentile.


Subscribers log in here

To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information or to purchase a personal subscription, click below on the option that best describes you:
Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jun 9, 2015.
The content on the UpToDate website is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. The use of this website is governed by the UpToDate Terms of Use ©2016 UpToDate, Inc.
  1. National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents. The fourth report on the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure in children and adolescents. Pediatrics 2004; 114:555.
  2. de Swiet M, Fayers P, Shinebourne EA. Systolic blood pressure in a population of infants in the first year of life: the Brompton study. Pediatrics 1980; 65:1028.
  3. Kent AL, Kecskes Z, Shadbolt B, Falk MC. Blood pressure in the first year of life in healthy infants born at term. Pediatr Nephrol 2007; 22:1743.
  4. Whincup PH, Bredow M, Payne F, et al. Size at birth and blood pressure at 3 years of age. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC). Am J Epidemiol 1999; 149:730.
  5. Bansal N, Ayoola OO, Gemmell I, et al. Effects of early growth on blood pressure of infants of British European and South Asian origin at one year of age: the Manchester children's growth and vascular health study. J Hypertens 2008; 26:412.
  6. Heij HA, Ekkelkamp S, Vos A. Hypertension associated with skeletal traction in children. Eur J Pediatr 1992; 151:543.
  7. Friedman AL, Hustead VA. Hypertension in babies following discharge from a neonatal intensive care unit. A 3-year follow-up. Pediatr Nephrol 1987; 1:30.
  8. Abman SH, Warady BA, Lum GM, Koops BL. Systemic hypertension in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia. J Pediatr 1984; 104:928.
  9. Alagappan A, Malloy MH. Systemic hypertension in very low-birth weight infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia: incidence and risk factors. Am J Perinatol 1998; 15:3.
  10. Duncan AF, Rosenfeld CR, Morgan JS, et al. Interrater reliability and effect of state on blood pressure measurements in infants 1 to 3 years of age. Pediatrics 2008; 122:e590.
  11. Menghetti E, Cellitti R, Marsili D, et al. 24 hour monitoring of blood pressure in premature and full-term new born babies. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 1997; 1:189.
  12. Varda NM, Gregoric A. Twenty-four-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in infants and toddlers. Pediatr Nephrol 2005; 20:798.
  13. Gellermann J, Kraft S, Ehrich JH. Twenty-four-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in young children. Pediatr Nephrol 1997; 11:707.
  14. Gimpel C, Wühl E, Arbeiter K, et al. Superior consistency of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in children: implications for clinical trials. J Hypertens 2009; 27:1568.