21st June 05:58
CHILDREN FALLING PREY TO HYPERTENSION
Children falling prey to hypertension
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Indraprasth - At 16, the rush of blood in Deepak's vein
should have been due to falling in love. But it had
something to do with his health. By the time his blood
pressure was checked, headaches he use to have, already
resulted in poor performance in his board exams.
This is not an isolated case. Many adolescents in the
country around Deepak's age are falling to high blood
pressure or hypertension, a condition uncommon for such a
Hypertension in children is fast becoming a matter of
growing concern. According to a study by the Indian
Council of Medical Research, Institute of Home Economics
and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), one
in every three ****agers in the capital, is likely to
The three-year study, "Lipid profile and blood glucose
levels of children from affluent families", surveyed
children, between 13 and 18 years of age, in five public
schools of Delhi catering to the affluent segments.
Out of about 800 children surveyed, 25 per cent of the
children had high cholesterol levels and nearly 30 per
cent ****agers had systolic blood pressure more than 120
"Sedentary lifestyle, faulty dietary patterns, excessive
academic pressure and high parental expectations are
leading adolescents towards various health problems",
says principal investigator Dr Santosh Jain Passi,
Reader, Institute of Home Economics, Delhi University.
"This trend is seen more amongst children from affluent
segments of the society because they are more likely to
have unhealthy lifestyle due to easier access to junk
food and general inactivity. But we cannot say that the
other group of children have got immunity to this
disease", Passi says.
Elaborating about this trend, Dr S C Manchanda, former
head of department of cardiology at AIIMS says, "In
today's fast moving world, while west is adopting our
culture and dietary habits, we are copying the trends,
which they are discarding now".
"In US, smoking has come down and about two crore people
are practicing yoga. They are learning from our culture
and we are following their life pattern, without
adjusting it to our culture and environment", Manchanda
The researchers say that if the children do not become
more active and make dietary changes, there will be an
outbreak of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in the
While mild to moderately high blood pressure usually has
no symptoms, and is thus called 'The Silent Killer'.
Recurrent headaches, blurred vision, lack of sleep, dizzy
spells could be indicators, but not always. The only way
to find out whether blood pressure is higher than normal
is periodic monitoring.
About the efforts that are required to curtail this
trend, Manchanda says, "Multi-pronged strategy is needed
to combat this trend. First of all there is need to
sensitise children, parents and even teachers about the
long term complications of this kind of lifestyle".
"Under the study we have also issued health certificates
to the children indicating their blood pressure and Body
Mass Index (BMI), which was a part of our effort to
create sensitisation about the growing trend", Passi
But to create awareness at mass scale, Manchanda says,
"Children should be made aware about the positive effects
of vegetarian diet and physical exercise in the form of
sports should be increased. We also need to get the blood
pressure of even children periodically checked."
While there is need to curb the number of children
falling prey to the silent killer, researchers say it may
not be a bad idea to ensure that children play a little
more, study regularly, without last minute pressure and
eat a little judiciously with greater emphasis on
inclusion of fresh vegetable and fruits in their diets.
It would provide ample amount of dietary fibers and
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1st July 00:38
CHILDREN FALLING PREY TO HYPERTENSION
Visit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
web site for excellent food recommendations:
In article <3F6AAA54.486B9DE8@Grandecom.net>,
Robert McCarty <sos@Grandecom.net> posted: