Background. The "Report of the Second Task Force on Blood Pressure Control in Children—1987" developed normative blood pressure (BP) data for children and adolescents. These normative data are used to classify BP levels. Since 1987, additional BP data in children and adolescents, the use of newer classes of drugs, and the role of primary prevention of hypertension have expanded the body of knowledge regarding the classification and treatment of hypertension in the young.
Objective. To report new normative BP data in children and adolescents and to provide additional information regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hypertension in children.
Methods. A working group was appointed by the director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as chair of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program (NHBPEP) Coordinating Committee. Data on children from the 1988 through 1991 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III and nine additional national data sets were combined to develop normative BP tables. The working group members produced initial draft documents that were reviewed by NHBPEP Coordinating Committee representatives as well as experts in pediatrics, cardiology, and hypertension. This reiterative process occurred for 12 draft documents. The NHBPEP Coordinating Committee discussed the report, and additional comments were received. Differences of opinion were adjudicated by the chair of the working group. The final report was sent to representatives of the 44 organizations on the NHBPEP Coordinating Committee for vote. It was approved unanimously by the NHBPEP Coordinating Committee on October 2, 1995.
Conclusions. This report provides new normative BP tables for children and adolescents, which now include height percentiles, age, and gender. The fifth Korotkoff sound is now used to define diastolic BP in children and adolescents. New charts have been developed to guide practicing clinicians in antihypertensive drug therapy selection. The primary prevention of hypertension in these age groups is discussed. A statement on public health considerations in the treatment of children and adolescents is provided.