Prevalence of Secondary Hypertension in Otherwise Healthy Youths with a New Diagnosis of Hypertension: A Meta-Analysis

Academic Article


  • Objective: To estimate the prevalence of secondary hypertension among otherwise healthy children with hypertension diagnosed in the outpatient setting. Study design: The MEDLINE, PubMed Central, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases were systematically searched for observational studies reporting the prevalence of secondary hypertension in children who underwent evaluation for hypertension and had no known comorbidities associated with hypertension at the time of diagnosis. Two authors independently extracted the study-specific prevalence of secondary hypertension in children evaluated for hypertension. Prevalence estimates for secondary hypertension were pooled in a random-effects meta-analysis. Results: Nineteen prospective studies and 7 retrospective studies including 2575 children with hypertension were analyzed, with a median of 65 participants (range, 9-486) in each study. Studies conducted in primary care or school settings reported a lower prevalence of secondary hypertension (3.7%; 95% CI, 1.2%-7.2%) compared with studies conducted in referral clinics (20.1%; 95% CI, 11.5%-30.3%). When stratified by study setting, there were no significant subgroup differences according to study design, country, participant age range, hypertension definition, blood pressure device, or study quality. Although the studies applied different approaches to diagnosing secondary hypertension, diagnostic evaluations were at least as involved as the limited testing recommended by current guidelines. Conclusions: The low prevalence of secondary hypertension among children with a new diagnosis of hypertension identified on screening reinforces clinical practice guidelines to avoid extensive testing in the primary care setting for secondary causes in most children with hypertension.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Nugent JT; Young C; Funaro MC; Jiang K; Saran I; Ghazi L; Wilson FP; Greenberg JH
  • Start Page

  • 30
  • End Page

  • 37.e10
  • Volume

  • 244