Study: Children with hypertension more likely to suffer from learning disabilities

Study finds link between high blood pressure and learning disabilities

There are a number of reasons that cause children to have learning disabilities, and depending on the severity, it could affect their overall academic achievements. While it’s common practice to give child IQ tests to determine one’s cognitive ability, a child’s blood pressure could also be an indicator of how he or she will perform in school.

A new study from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) found that children who have hypertension are more likely to suffer from learning disabilities compared to kids with normal blood pressure.

The researchers examined 201 patients who were referred to a pediatric hypertension clinic. Of these children, 101 were actually diagnosed with hypertension. Approximately 9 percent of those who did not have the condition had a learning disability, while 28 percent of those diagnosed with hypertension were seen to have less cognitive function.

"This study also found that children with hypertension are more likely to have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)," said Dr. Heather R. Adams, one of the study’s authors. "Although retrospective, this work adds to the growing evidence of an association between hypertension and cognitive function. With 4 percent of children now estimated to have hypertension, the need to understand this potential connection is incredibly important."

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