Survey: 14.5% of Chinese children suffer from hypertension

About 14.5 percent of Chinese children suffer from hypertension, according to a nationalsurvey on Chinese students’ physical health in 2010. Hypertension afflicted 16.9 percent ofthe boys surveyed and 12.9 percent of the girls.

Another survey on national health and nutrition suggested that the prevalence ofhypertension among children ages 6 to 17 in seven Chinese provinces increased to 13.8percent in 2009, from 7.1 percent in 1991.

After a four-year investigation on the salt intake of Chinese children and adolescents,which started in 2012, researchers found out that the daily salt intake of Chinese youthbetween 6 and 17 is 2.4 times the amount recommended by the World HealthOrganization (WHO), which is 5 grams per day. Salt intake is a crucial factor leading tohypertension.

Statistics showed that a predisposition for hypertension can be inherited. If both parentshave hypertension, children may face a 46 percent chance of suffering from the disorderthemselves. The figure drops to 28 percent if only one parent suffers from hypertension.The occurrence is only 3 percent for those with no family history.

Obesity is another cause of the disorder. The automation prevalent in modern society hasreduced people’s physical activity, leading to widespread obesity. Obesity and excessweight can result in metabolic disorders and angiosclerosis, contributing to an increase inblood pressure. In addition, habits such as smoking, drinking, poor sleep patterns andstress also increase the occurrence of hypertension among young people.

Huang Hui, director of the cardiology department of Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital,suggested that hypertension patients control their calories, fat and protein intake, alongwith increasing their consumption of foods containing potassium and calcium. Potatoes,eggplant, milk, sesame and green vegetables all fall into the latter category.

In addition, Huang said that reducing salt intake also helps to lower blood pressure, andone’s daily intake of salt should be below 5 grams.

(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)

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