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Evaluation of hypertension in children and adolescents

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


It has become clear that hypertension (HTN) begins in childhood and adolescence, and that it contributes to the early development of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The evaluation of children with HTN will be reviewed here. The epidemiology, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of childhood HTN are discussed separately. (See "Epidemiology, risk factors, and etiology of hypertension in children and adolescents" and "Definition and diagnosis of hypertension in children and adolescents" and "Nonemergent treatment of hypertension in children and adolescents".)

In addition, the evaluation for hypertensive emergency is presented elsewhere. (See "Approach to hypertensive emergencies and urgencies in children".)


For children in the United States, the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for screening and managing high blood pressure for children and adolescents definitions are used to categorize blood pressure for two different age groups (table 1) [1]. BP percentiles are based upon gender, age, and height (table 2 and table 3). (See "Definition and diagnosis of hypertension in children and adolescents".) Childhood HTN is also divided into two categories depending upon whether or not an underlying cause can be identified (table 4):

Primary HTN – No identifiable cause is found.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 13, 2017.
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