Hypertension is a major cardiovascular risk factor with a high prevalence in adult population but, although traditionally hypertension in childhood was considered secondary to a chronic disease, now has been stated a progressive increase in primary hypertension during childhood being responsible for more than 80% of hypertension cases during adolescence.
There is a group of factors that increase the risk of suffering from hypertension such as: overweight, physical inactivity, high input of salt, low potassium inputs, smoking and diabetes. In recent years, due to changes in our society lifestyle, all these risk factors have individually increased and act synergistically in the development of cardiovascular disease. Trying to reduce the development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in adulthood, preventive strategies to avoid blood pressure increase in childhood are adequate.
This article considers prevalence of childhood and adolescence hypertension, diagnostic criteria, measurement techniques, current recommendations for screening as well as prevention strategies that can be applied from Primary Health Care.
Keywords: Childhood. Primary Care. Prevention. Screening. Cardiovascular disease. Hypertension.