Statement updates ambulatory blood pressure classification for children and adolescents

American Heart Association Scientific Statement

Embargo until 4AM ET / Monday, May 23, 2022 5AM ET

Dallas, May 23, 2022 — A scientific statement from the American Heart Association that reviews new evidence and guidelines for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in children and adolescents is published today in the association’s journal hypertension.

Statement highlights:

  • This statement provides a simplified classification of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) in children and adolescents. ABPM is designed to assess a person’s blood pressure during activities of daily living, including physical activity, sleep and stress.
  • The new classification provides guidance on when ABPM is appropriate and how to interpret monitoring results.
  • Children with medical diagnoses such as kidney disease may have normal office blood pressure but find marked abnormalities on the ABPM. This may lead to a more benign prognosis if ABPM is not considered.
  • Elevated blood pressure in childhood is associated with heart and kidney damage and brain changes associated with worsening cognitive function in youth and adulthood.
  • ABPM can help alleviate concerns about blood pressure spikes caused by measuring anxiety (called white coat hypertension) and help assess daily blood pressure patterns.
  • ABPM is used to confirm whether a child or adolescent with high blood pressure actually has high blood pressure during clinical measurements.

This scientific statement was written by a volunteer writing group on behalf of the American Heart Association Council Youth Committee on Atherosclerosis, Hypertension and Obesity Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in Young Adults; Cardiovascular Radiology and Interventions Committee; Epidemiology and Prevention Committee; Hypertension Committee; Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Committee. The American Heart Association’s scientific statement raises awareness of cardiovascular disease and stroke issues and helps facilitate informed health care decisions. A scientific statement outlines what is currently known about a topic and what areas require further research. While scientific statements inform the development of guidelines, they do not make treatment recommendations. American Heart Association guidelines provide the association’s official clinical practice recommendations.

Co-authors are Joseph T. Flynn, MD, MS, FAHA, Chair; Elaine M. Urbina, MD, MS, FAHA, Vice Chair; Tammy M. Brady, MD, PhD; Carissa Baker-Smith, MD, MPH, MS, FAHA; Stephen R. Daniels, MD, Ph.D., FAHA; Laura L. Hayman, RN, PhD, FAHA; Mark Mitsnefes, MD, MS; Andrew Tran, MD; Justin P. Zachariah , MD, MPH, FAHA. The authors are disclosed in the manuscript.

Citations: Flynn JT, Urbina EM, Brady TM, Baker-Smith C, Daniels SR, Hayman LL, Mitsnefes M, Tran A, Zachariah JP.Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring in Children and Adolescents: 2022 Update: Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association [published online ahead of print May 23, 2022]. hypertension. 2022;79: doi: 10.1161/HYP.00000000000000215

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a tireless force driving the world to live longer, healthier lives. We are committed to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through partnerships with numerous organizations and supported by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for public health and share life-saving resources. For nearly a century, the Dallas-based organization has been a primary source of health us heart tissue, Facebook, Twitter Or call 1-800-AHA-USA1.


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