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Normal Blood Pressure in Teenagers

Monitoring blood pressure in teenagers is critically important in preventive medicine. High blood pressure in teenagers can be an early warning sign of health problems later in life. By understanding how to calculate the normal blood pressure in teenagers we can identify these early warning signs and guide teens towards a more healthy future.

Blood Pressure Values

Average blood pressure for a 15-year-old teenager is approximately 125/79 mmHg, but exact age, weight, height and gender must also be considered in determining ideal blood pressure.

Calculating BP

That National Institute for Health considers a teen's blood pressure to be high if the reading is above the ninetieth percentile for height. Some doctors may use the body mass index (BMI) to calculate ideal blood pressure for anyone under the age of 18.

Normal Variations

The blood pressure of teenagers can fluctuate greatly depending on hormonal changes throughout the day, the activity at the time and stress. Three high readings, on different days, in a row are needed to diagnose high blood pressure (hypertension).

Causes

Teenagers can have secondary or essential hypertension. Secondary hypertension is caused by kidney or heart dysfunction. Essential hypertension has been linked to obesity, poor diet, decreased activity and family history.

Significance

Hypertension in teens can continue into adulthood and lead to cardiac damage, hardening of the arteries, kidney damage and stroke.

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About the Author

Valarie Juntunen has been involved in direct health care since 1999 and began freelance writing in 1997. She is a Michigan registered nurse and attended the National Rural Institute on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, where she developed her passion for psychological- and sociological-based nursing. Juntunen holds an associate's degree in nursing from Finlandia University.