Children’s Health: Poor diabetes control goes hand-in-hand with hypertension

Doctor recommends blood pressure monitoring for children and teens with high sugar levels

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Diabetic children who have poor control of their blood sugar also tend to have trouble with high blood pressure, or hypertension, and could be at risk for kidney disease, according to a U.S. researcher.

Dr. Manjual Chatterjee, a pediatric endocrinology fellow at the Schneider Children’s Hospital in New York, studied more than 100 children ranging in age from 10 to 18 years who had the type one form of diabetes. Type one diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood and occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, regular insulin injections are needed to keep blood sugar levels under control.

The children and teens wore a blood pressure monitoring device for 24 hours. The results revealed that nearly one-quarter of the participants had borderline hypertension, and six per cent had hypertension.

Participants with abnormal blood pressure readings were more likely to have poor control of their diabetes than children with normal blood pressure. And boys were more likely to have abnormal blood pressure readings than girls.

Chatterjee says the study highlights the importance of good blood sugar control. Moreover, boys with diabetes, or any child for whom poor diabetes control is a concern, should undergo 24-hour blood pressure monitoring. This could help in the early detection of kidney disease, which can result from hypertension.