Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

in Health

A doctor holds a sign that says, "Say no to high blood pressure in children."We’ve never had to worry about kiddos with high blood pressure. Unfortunately, today the risk factors for adult hypertension are the same for kids: obesity, sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, and genetic susceptibility.

What is Pediatric Hypertension?

According the the Mayo Clinic:

  • Hypertension is defined as average systolic blood pressure (SBP) and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) that is greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for sex, age, and height on three or more occasions.
  • Prehypertension in children is defined as average SBP or DBP levels that are greater than or equal to the 90th percentile, but less than the 95th percentile.
  • As with adults, adolescents with BP levels greater than or equal to 120/80 mmHg should be considered prehypertensive.
  • A patient with BP levels above the 95th percentile in a physician’s office or clinic, who is normotensive outside a clinical setting, has white-coat hypertension. Ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) is usually required to make this diagnosis.


Conventional Medical Treatment

National Institutes of Health (NIH)-


Commonly Prescribed Medications

(please see NIH paper above for common dosages/age):

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor

  • Benazepril
  • Captopril
  • Enalapril
  • Fosinopril
  • Lisinopril
  • Quinapril

Angiotensin-receptor blocker

  • Irbesartan
  • Losartan

Alpha and Beta- blocker

  • Labetalol

Beta- blocker

  • Atenolol
  • Bisoprolo/HCTZ
  • Metoprolol
  • Propanolol

Calcium channel blocker

  • Amlodipine
  • Felodipine
  • Isradipine
  • Extended-release nifedipine

Central Alpha-agonist

  • Clonidine


  • HCTZ
  • Chlorthalidone
  • Furosemide
  • Spironolactone
  • Triamterene
  • Amiloride

Peripheral Alpha-agonist

  • Doxazosin
  • Prazosin
  • Terazosin


  • Hydralazine
  • Minoxidil


Naturopathic Medical Treatment Options

(may be used in conjunction with conventional options and/or used alone)


  • fruits and vegetables (dirty dozen/clean 15), whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats
  • remove excess salt, sugar and unhealthy fats from the diet
  • fiber – psyllium husk, oats

Exercise (for weight related hypertension)

  • engage in sport activities
  • exercise should be FUN, please get creative for your child
  • 30-60 minutes per day

Vitamins and Supplements

  • Fish Oil- EPA + DHA = 1-2 grams per day with food
  • Magnesium 200-400 mg daily

Other Options

  • Arginine 1-2 grams daily (do NOT give if child is taking an ACE inhibitor)
  • Sleep- 9-12 hours sleep per night (age dependent)




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Barlow SE, Dietz WH. Obesity evaluation and treatment: Expert Committee recom- mendations. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services. Pediatrics 1998;102:e29. Available at: www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/102/3/e29. Verified July 12, 2004.

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General. 2001.

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Reviewed/Updated: 09/14
Content Created: 05/14


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