Background Hypertension is on the rise in the pediatric population. Untreated hypertension is the basis for CV disease. The intent of this study is to encourage routine pediatric blood pressure screening.
Methods A nine question phone survey of regional NE PA pediatricians, family physicians, and internists regarding the routing exam of asymptomatic children.
Results 20 out of 31 (64.5%) respondents participated in this survey. 8 of the 11 (72.7%) contacts that did not participate were unable to be reached for reasons including incorrect contact information or failure to provide a callback, and the remaining 3 contacts rejected participation directly. The average age for annual blood pressure screening was 2.6 years old. All 20 participants (100%) follow blood pressure readings in asymptomatic children, and a majority of these respondents (85%) answered “yearly” follow-up for blood pressure in asymptomatic children. When asked whether parents accompany the well-child visit, 90% answered yes. Well-baby checks are stopped at a 50/50 split between 18 months and 24 months. When asked about how elevated blood pressure in a well-visit is followed in asymptomatic children, the responses varied. Responses included bringing back the patient within 48 hours for follow-up to 1-month follow-up, in addition to further testing for thyroid and kidney concerns. All 20 of the participants answered that BMI is monitored during the well-child visit, and 2.5 years of age was the average response to what age BMI monitoring begins.
Conclusion Our data reflects the need to generate a greater understanding of how clinicians are screening asymptomatic pediatric populations, and then following up once an elevated blood pressure is recorded. It could be hypothesized as pediatric hypertension rates continue to rise there will be greater incidences of cardiovascular and neurovascular-related sequelae in adult populations as well.