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Children's Health

140/82 reading in 17yr male

04/07/2009

Question:

My 17 year son had his blood pressure taken today by nurse assitant at school and his reading was 140/82 and I feel this is extremely high and alarming. This is not the first time he has had a reading like this. He is not overweight, he is active. He is 6`-1" and 140. How critical is a BP reading like this? Are there factors that could contribute to high readings other than obesity in an healthy teenager. Should I get him to his doctor quickly to address this or monitor it for a time period?

Answer:

There are many possible explanations for this level of blood pressure which if true on several occasions, measured properly could represent high blood pressure. I would suggest that you have your son make an appointment with his primary care provider and have his blood pressure checked by someone who can provide the answers you are asking for.

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Response by:

Michael Spigarelli, MD, PhD
Formerly, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati