Health

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By Zachary ZorichAug 2, 2004 5:00 AM

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CHILDREN UNDER PRESSURE

The blood pressure of children in the United States is on the rise—attributed in part to increasing obesity. A team led by epidemiologist Paul Muntner of Tulane University analyzed health surveys of Americans aged 8 to 17 and found that systolic (peak) blood pressure has risen an average of 1.4 points since 1988–1994. A 1- to 2-point increase results in a 10 percent increase in the risk of developing hypertension by 30, studies show. Muntner offers simple but often ignored solutions: Children should exercise, eat a healthy diet, and have their blood pressure checked regularly.

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