With each beat, the heart forces blood through the vessels of the body. The pressure the blood exerts on the vessels is known as blood pressure. Blood pressure measurements can be taken at any age. Healthy blood pressure readings are based on the gender, height and age of the teen, which varies greatly as adolescence is a time of rapid change and growth. Physicians consider a teen's blood pressure to be in the healthy range if it falls below the 90th to 95th percentile for his age and height
Prevalence of Pediatric Hypertension
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is rare in children and teens. KidsHealth.org reports that only one to three percent of children in the United States are ever diagnosed with hypertension.
Determining Healthy BP in Teens
The procedure for measuring blood pressure in teens and adults is the same. However, the interpretation of the measurements is different. A blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal for adults, and may be interpreted as hypertension in a teen. A series of readings over an established period of time is used to diagnose hypertension or hypotension.
A 13-year old boy, who falls in the 50th percentile in height, with a blood pressure of 108/62 mm Hg is considered to be in the 50th percentile. The same teen with a blood pressure of 133/89 would be considered to have hypertension.
The measurements of blood pressure are similar for girls. A blood pressure measurement of 107/63 mm Hg in a 13-year old girl, who falls within the 50th percentile for height, would be considered normal. If her blood pressure is consistently measured at 138/89, she would be diagnosed with hypertension.
Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure. When it comes to blood pressure, typically the lower the reading, the better. Blood pressure is only considered to be too low if it causes physical symptoms such as dizziness or lightheadedness.