Researchers say more kids need BP meds
It's shameless, dangerous, and downright dirty.
A new study opens the door for pumping kids full of blood pressure meds -- even if they're perfectly healthy and even if they don't actually have high blood pressure by any standard definition.
(And of course, one of the study's authors works for a drug company that makes hypertension meds. It just doesn't get any more predictable than that, folks!)
Researchers set out to "prove" that hypertension in children is more widespread than previously believed. But no matter how hard they tried, they couldn't make the link even after crunching the numbers on thousands of Texas school kids who took part in drug company-funded screenings.
All told, they found that only 1 in 200 teens develop high blood pressure in any given year, with similarly low numbers of kids facing the bogus category of "prehypertension." (For more on why it's bogus, read this.)
That won't sell many meds now, will it?
So instead of using existing standards, they fabricated their own: Any kid who's ever had a single above-normal BP reading for any reason is suddenly "at risk" and a possible candidate for medication.
Doesn't matter if the kid was sick, scared, tired, or just plain having a bad day -- one high reading, and they're on the list, never mind that BP levels can change from day to day and minute to minute in even the healthiest of people.
Under this new definition, the number of "at risk" kids suddenly skyrockets to include up to 26 percent of all U.S. teens -- including children who are stringbean-thin and perfectly healthy in every measurable mainstream way with no other signs of hypertension.
Now THAT'S how you sell meds!
It's an outrage -- and any doc who follows this advice should have his sphygmomanometer taken away permanently.
The fact is, there's no evidence that kids with hypertension, prehypertension or even "at risk" BP levels go on to develop other heart risks. There's no evidence they need to be treated. There's no evidence they need meds. And there's no evidence these meds are even safe for children.
How's that for evidence-based medicine?