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SO-CALLED ESSENTIAL HYPERTENSION IN CHILDHOOD

IRWIN PHILIP SOBEL, M.D.
Am J Dis Child. 1941;61(2):280-299. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1941.02000080070010.
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Slightly less than 100 cases of essential hypertension among children have been reported in the literature.1 This seems a surprisingly small number when it is recalled that over half a million adults die each year in the United States of cardiovascular-renal disease, one half of them as a direct result of high blood pressure. A comparison of these two sets of figures would imply that essential hypertension has no connection with childhood and that it mysteriously springs up in later adult life without any previous background. The facts, however, that hypertension is common in young adults2 and that heredity is the most important collateral etiologic factor3 should immediately cast serious doubts on these implications. The paucity of articles on essential hypertension in pediatric periodicals and textbooks indicates a curious lack of interest on the part of pediatricians in a condition which kills more than twice as many

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