High Blood Pressure and Your Teen
Researchers Track Teens at Risk for Progression to High Blood Pressure as Adults
Dana Greene, MS, RD, a nutritionist in private practice in Brookline, Mass.,
agrees with Giles. She routinely counsels adolescents with high blood pressure
and other risk factors for heart disease. “Teens who know they have
prehypertension or even high blood pressure can most likely avoid needing to
take medication and developing complications of high blood pressure if they
make some changes to their diet and lifestyle now,” she tells WebMD. Greene did
not attend the ASH meeting.
“Regular physical activity is important and so is watching the amount of
salt in the diet,” she says. A low-salt diet might help lower blood pressure.
“The most important thing preteens can do is learn about which foods are salty
and which are not because it is not always so obvious,” she points out. For
example, it is obvious that potato chips are salty, but so are hot dogs. “We
don’t often think of it that way because we don’t see salt on the outside of a
Many preteens and teens with prehypertension or full-fledged high blood
pressure are also overweight or obese, she says. “Weight loss and limiting the saturated or animal
fat in their diet can also help these children improve their heart disease risk
factors, she says.