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AHA: Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring Useful in Children

Ambulatory monitoring can be useful for evaluating blood pressure in children with suspected hypertension, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement in Hypertension.

Ambulatory measurement can confirm a hypertension diagnosis in children and distinguish between true and white-coat hypertension, the AHA suggests. It may also be used to:

Research indicates that 1 in 5 children found to be hypertensive by ambulatory monitoring would be missed by clinical and self measurements.

The AHA recommends that monitoring be done only by those with special training and that devices be programmed to record BP every 20 to 30 minutes during waking hours and every 30 to 60 minutes during sleep.

Noting the lack of pediatric data, the authors emphasize that the guidelines are consensus-driven rather than evidence-based.

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