April 23, 2008 / 7:14 PM / in 11 years

Blood pressure in diabetic kids needs watching

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In a study of people with type 1 diabetes, those with higher blood pressure or hypertension in childhood had higher levels in young adulthood, German researchers report.

In light of this finding, “We need to focus on the diagnosis of hypertension in children with type 1 diabetes and to study the efficacy of early intervention,” write Dr. Ina Knerr, from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and colleagues.

The researchers followed 868 subjects, seen at 95 Diabetes Centers and Pediatric Care Clinics in Germany and Austria, from the age of 6 until they were just shy of 20.

Blood pressure readings were taken when they were pre-pubertal (less than 10 years old), going through puberty (10 to younger than 16), or post-pubertal (16 to 19.9 years of age).

The team reports in the medical journal Diabetes Care that blood pressures above the 97th percentile of European reference levels were seen in 4 percent of the participant during pre-puberty and puberty, and in almost 14 percent of them during post-puberty.

“Tracking of blood pressure revealed that children with elevated blood pressure had higher blood pressure in adolescence and young adulthood,” Knerr’s team reports.

Lowering elevated blood pressure early in life in these individuals is essential, the investigators suggest, because people with diabetes have a 10-fold higher risk than normal for developing cardiovascular disease.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, April 2008.

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