High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a leading cause of kidney disease and other serious conditions. Left untreated, it can lead to damage to the heart, brain, kidneys and eyes. But if it’s caught early, monitored and treated, a child with high blood pressure can lead an active, healthy life.

Understanding Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the pressure the blood exerts against the blood vessel walls when the heart pumps. The pressure increases when the heart contracts and pushes blood into the vessels and lowers when the heart relaxes. Blood pressure is always changing and can be affected by actions, emotions, medications and diet.

Who Has High Blood Pressure?

Although most people think of high blood pressure as an adult condition, kids can develop it, too. That’s why the physicians at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC, are careful to check their patients’ blood pressure regularly.

Hypertension Clinic

Levine Children’s Hospital hosts a hypertension clinic in Charlotte, NC, for pediatric hypertension patients in the Medical Center Plaza, 1001 Blythe Blvd., Suite 200, right next door to the hospital. It’s a “one-stop shop” with interdisciplinary healthcare providers on hand to treat patients.

During the clinic, you can meet with a dietitian to discuss diet, obtain referrals to Carolinas Weight Management, have diagnostic studies as needed (i.e., EKG (electrocardiogram), ultrasound) and meet with pediatric cardiologists. Arrangements can also be made for 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, during which a small monitor is worn on the belt and several readings are taken throughout the day, giving the healthcare team a more accurate blood pressure reading. For more information on the Hypertension and Nephrology Clinic, call 704-381-8800.