To educate advance practice nurses on the diagnosis, pharmacologic, and nonpharmacologic management of hypertension in children and adolescents.
Information was collected through a search of published literature and clinical practice guidelines.
Increasing rates of hypertension in children and adolescents are correlated to risk for coronary artery disease in adulthood. Nonpharmacologic management includes lifestyle modifications addressing weight reduction, physical activity, and dietary modification. Pharmacologic management is typically reserved for patients with severe hypertension or those who do not respond to lifestyle modifications. Early intervention is critical for preventing target-organ damage and complications of long-term hypertension.
Implications for practice:
Nurse practitioners must identify and address elevated blood pressure
levels in children and adolescents. Many children and adolescents can successfully lower blood pressure
readings through nonpharmacologic lifestyle changes. Education about lifestyle modification strategies should focus on family-based changes in order to increase likelihood of successful implementation.