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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 891094, 5 pages
Review Article

The Effects of Hypertension on Cognitive Function in Children and Adolescents

1Pediatric Nephrology, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH 43205, USA
2The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Received 14 October 2011; Revised 9 December 2011; Accepted 12 December 2011

Academic Editor: Esra Baskin

Copyright © 2012 Stephen D. Cha et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hypertension (HTN) is found in about 3-4% of the pediatric population with long-term risks of end organ damage if untreated or poorly controlled. Although children with HTN are being more frequently screened for end organ damage (i.e., LVH), the cognitive effects of HTN and methods to screen for cognitive dysfunction have not been extensively explored. In recent years, there have been a small number of studies that have provided important insights that can guide future research in this area. These studies show that HTN can be associated with headaches, restlessness, sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression, decreased attention, and also poor executive functioning. By increasing the utilization of cognitive tests in hypertensive children and adolescents, important cognitive defects secondary to HTN may be detected. More research is needed in the area, and the results of future studies could have far reaching implications for long-term outcomes in hypertensive children and adolescents.