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Many pre-teens in West Virginia have high blood pressure

Posted On Thu, October 14, 2010

A research team has tested blood pressure levels of more than 62,000 fifth graders in West Virginia. The American Heart Association says that almost 20 percent of those children were found to have high blood pressure.

Surveillance associate director Valerie Evans Minor says that while screening at school is beneficial, it can only go so far.

"They do not diagnose," says Evans Minor. "Screening is better than missing the opportunity altogether for finding kids at risk. Ideal assessment can be done in follow-up in a more controlled environment."

High blood pressure is a serious health problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that having the condition increases one's likelihood of developing heart disease and stroke - two leading conditions of death in the U.S. Furthermore, those with high blood pressure may face higher life insurance premiums as a result of being diagnosed with the ailment.

High blood pressure isn't something people have to live with. The CDC says people of any age can lower their blood pressure through eating lots of fruits and vegetables and avoiding sodium.

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