|HYPERTENSION IN CHILDREN ON THE RISE.
The Osgood File. Sponsored by Stamps.Com. Save time, trouble and money by buying and printing official U.S. postage with your own computer and printer. In a moment, a special offer just for you. This is Dave Ross, in for Charles Osgood.
We all know that the obesity epidemic has spread from adults to kids. Well, now...
SOT - Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin, spokesman for the American Heart Association
"The prevalence of hypertension in children is increasing..." (:04)
Hypertension - as in high blood pressure - increasing in children. And wait 'til you hear how much that costs.
More after this from Charlie...
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We've known for years that children are getting fatter - which might be OK, if that's all that was happening.
But Dr. Ernestro Schiffrin of the American Heart Association says more and more, it's landing them in the hospital.
SOT - Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin
"There's no doubt the epidemic of obesity and diabetes have contributed to the increased incidence of hypertension in the pediatric population." (:10)
The latest Heart Association study showed that in 2006, hospital admissions for children with high blood pressure totaled 24,600 - twice as many as ten years earlier.
Considering there are 12.6 million obese kids in this country, that may not sound like much.
But they can be in the hospital as long as eight days, and that's what gets expensive: 3.1 billion dollars for the ten years surveyed.
And if the number keeps doubling, you can see why health care threatens to bankrupt us.
Remember, these are children - already getting hospital treatment, and likely to need more of it.
In some cases, the blood pressure problem is genetic.
But doctors - like kidney specialist Dr. Rick Kaskel of Montefiore Hospital says a lot of the increase has to do with kids eating too much and exercising too little.
SOT - Dr. Rick Kaskel, kidney specialist at Montefiore Hospital in New York
"We've seen it associated with the marked increase in obesity - but not to these numbers. And I think the hospitalization rate is what was astounding here." (:09)
We've all heard it said that "60 is the new 50." The sad thing is that for some young people, so is 20.
The Osgood File. Dave Ross on the CBS Radio Network.