Research

Severe hypertension in children at a central referral hospital in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

D Murigo-Shumba, R Bhimma, E Naicker

Abstract


Background. Hypertension (HPT) is often underdiagnosed in children, although significant morbidity and mortality arises from hypertensive target organ damage and hypertensive crises.

Objectives. To determine the prevalence, complications and causes of severe HPT in children 12 years old at a central hospital.

Methods. Hospital records of children 12 years old with severe HPT (stage 2 and higher) from 2005 to 2014 were reviewed. Demographics, nutritional status, causes, HIV status, presence of target organ damage and treatment were analysed.

Results. Of 821 children admitted to the paediatric nephrology unit, 152 (18.5%) children had severe HPT, with a mean age of 6.3 years; 86 (57%) were boys. A total of 28 (19%) were HIV-positive, and 19 (68%) were treatment naive. Kidney disease accounted for 82% of cases, 46 (30%) having steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome, 22 (14%) HIV-associated nephropathy, 19 (13%) glomerulonephritis, 21 (14%) congenital urinary tract abnormalities and 17 (11%) other renal causes. Renovascular causes accounted for 12 (8%) cases. Of these 12, 7 (58%) had left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), compared with 10/125 (8%) who had other forms of kidney disease (p<0.023). Hypertensive crises occurred in 28 (18%) patients, and were significantly more common in children with HPT secondary to renovascular causes than renal causes (p=0.001).

Conclusion. Renal diseases were the most common cause of severe HPT in children. Hypertensive crises, retinopathy and LVH are common in renovascular HPT.


Authors' affiliations

D Murigo-Shumba, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

R Bhimma, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

E Naicker, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2019;13(1):44-48. DOI:10.7196/SAJCH.2019.v13i1.1564

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-04-11
Date published: 2019-04-11

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