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High Blood Pressure May Limit Children’s Cognitive Skills, Study Suggests

Increasing numbers of children have high blood pressure, largely as a consequence of their obesity. A growing body of evidence suggests that high blood pressure may impair children’s cognitive skills, reducing their ability to remember, pay attention and organize facts.

In the most comprehensive study to date, published on Thursday in The Journal of Pediatrics, 75 children ages 10 to 18 with untreated high blood pressure performed worse on several tests of cognitive function, compared with 75 peers who had normal blood pressure.

The differences were subtle, and the new research does not prove that high blood pressure diminishes cognitive skills in children. Still, the findings set off alarm bells among some experts.


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