August 2018
High Blood Pressure

Healthy Blood Pressure Among Youth

CDC study using the updated 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Clinical Practice Guideline 1 shows that about 4% of youth in United States aged 12–19 years have hypertension, and another 10% have elevated blood pressure (previously called “prehypertension”). Youth with obesity had the highest prevalence of hypertension.

Between 2001 and 2016, the prevalence of hypertension declined using both the new and former guidelines. But there are still many youths with hypertension and other cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as obesity and diabetes. Data shows that between 2015 and 2016, the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adolescents (12-16 years) was 20.6% 2  While obesity increases the risk for high blood pressure, having high blood pressure in adolescent without proper interventions/treatments increases the risk of high blood pressure in adulthood. High blood pressure also increases the risk for other dangerous health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, etc.

Using the criteria of the 2017 AAP Clinical Practice Guideline, more than 1 in 7 U.S. youth aged 12–19 years had hypertension or elevated blood pressure in 2013–2016.

Additional Key Points from the Study

  • Hypertension among youth has decreased, but youth are still at risk
  • The new guideline changes the numbers and uses a lower threshold for hypertension
  • Risks for cardiovascular disease that start in childhood are more likely to carry over into adulthood
  • Healthy diet and exercise are important to reducing these risk factors

According to CDC, there are things that parents could do to help youth keep a healthy weight and normal blood pressure:

Ask your doctor to measure your child’s blood pressure starting at age 3. Helping children maintain a healthy weight, eat nutritious foods, and get regular physical activity can lower their blood pressure and reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease later in life.

Offer nutritious food and drinks
Offer lower-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables in place of foods high in added sugars and solid fats. Try serving more fruits and vegetables at meals and as snacks.

Provide foods that are low in sodium (salt). Sodium raises blood pressure. Nearly 9 in 10 U.S. children eat more sodium than is recommended. Learn more about sodium.
Make sure drinking water is always available as a no-calorie alternative to sugary drinks, and limit juice.

Promote Physical activity
Help your child get the recommended amount of physical activity each day. There are many age-appropriate activities to choose from.

Learn about healthy weight
Be aware of your child’s growth. Learn how obesity is measured in children, and use CDC’s Child and Teen BMI Calculator to screen your child for potential weight issues.

Get involved
Be a role model! Eat healthy meals and snacks, and get the right amount of physical activity every day. Help shape a healthy school environment using CDC’s Parents for Healthy Schools resources.


Baby receiving treatment

Our Babies, Our Future

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a growing problem in the United States. NAS occurs when newborn babies experience withdrawal after being exposed to drugs in the womb. NAS can cause low birth weight and other complications leading to prolonged hospitalization. NAS can occur with a variety of both illicit and prescription drugs, including some prescription painkillers. 1 The number of babies born with NAS in United States continues to increase. Babies deserve a better and a fair healthy start. Fortunately, when it comes to NAS, we can do more!

According to the CDC, NAS is preventable if an expectant mother receives proper care and treatment. One of the most effective prevention strategies is to improve the health care that every woman receives before getting pregnant, and to educate both patients and providers about appropriate use of prescription drugs during pregnancy. 1

Although the United States opioid epidemic has gained increased attention, resulting in more efforts and recent initiatives to reduce rates of opioid use around the country, few have included a focus on pregnant women and their babies. It’s important to note the impact on women of childbearing age (15-44 years) bearing of the maternal, infant, child and family health issues associated with this group.

Drug addiction is a disease. These mothers cannot help themselves nor their babies. To help our most vulnerable; our babies, we must help their mothers to stay clean from drugs before and through pregnancy. According to one expectant mother in recovery, “When you are going through recovery, your baby is going through recovery too. You can feel your baby suffering within you...”

To learn more on CDC’s perspective on the issue and what is currently being done to address this, click here.

Free Continuing Education

Free Continuing Education from MMWR and Medscape 

The Clay County Public Health Center would like to bring to your attention a new free continuing education activity from CDC's MMWR and Medscape that describes changes in the proportion of unusual antibiotic resistance among selected pathogens, based on a CDC study.

This activity is intended for infectious disease practitioners, critical care practitioners, hematologists/oncologists, internists, laboratory practitioners, pathologists, public health officials, urologists, nurses, pharmacists, and other clinicians who treat and manage patients with multidrug-resistant organism infection.

To access this FREE MMWR / Medscape CE activity click here. If you are not a registered user on Medscape, you may click here to register for free or login without a password and get unlimited access to all continuing education activities and other Medscape features.

Clay County Communicable Disease Data Summary

The 2018 year-to-date disease report for MMWR Week 28 shows that most reportable disease conditions remained within what is expected for the county. Disease that are above what is expected among Clay County residents are streptococcus pneumonia invasive disease and tick-borne diseases. The Clay County Public Health Center continues to emphasize the importance of good hand hygiene, good sanitary practice and safe food handling practice in the control of enteric illnesses. Also, we encourage the public to take necessary steps to prevent tick and mosquito bites.

To learn more on tick-borne diseases and ways to protect yourself click here.

June/July 2018 Communicable Disease Data

To view the chart of communicable disease data, click here.

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