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Abstract: TH-PO475

Anxious Adolescents and Diastolic Hypertension

Session Information

Category: Hypertension and CVD

  • 1401 Hypertension and CVD: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Prevention


  • Kibrom, Sara G., NYMC - Westchester medical center, Valhalla, New York, United States
  • Pereira, Tanya E., New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, United States
  • Samsonov, Dmitry V., New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, United States

Anxiety is prevalent in 15-20% of children, often negatively affecting health and quality of life. Pediatric hypertension (HTN) is on the rise, affecting 5% of all children. While anxiety correlates with elevated blood pressure (BP) in adults, this has not been studied in children. The primary objective of this study was to examine the relationship between anxiety and HTN in adolescents.


We screened Adolescents aged 12-18 years in a pediatric nephrology clinic for anxiety. Adolescents and their parents were asked to complete the generalized anxiety subset of the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED) questionnaire in regards to the adolescent. A score of ≥ 9 out of 18 was labeled as a positive screen for anxiety. BP was measured at the same visit. Hypertension was defined as systolic or diastolic BP > 95th percentile for age, height, and gender.


Ninety-nine adolescents and their parents completed the questionnaire. The median age was 15 years with 54% of the responders being male. Sixty-two percent had either elevated blood pressures in the office or had diagnosis of hypertension. Nine percent had history of anxiety and 37% screened positive on the SCARED questionnaire. Adolescent’s anxiety score correlated with parental rating of adolescent’s anxiety (r = 0.4, p <0.01). Parents who perceive their children as anxious had a greater proportion of diastolic HTN compared to non-anxious children 53% vs 29% (p < 0.05) but not systolic hypertension 21% vs 26%, (p = 0.6). Anxious children had higher diastolic HTN (p < 0.05).


Parental perception of child’s underlying anxiety level may predict higher diastolic BP measurement at office visit. Future studies should include larger cohort size, and use of ambulatory BP monitoring, and assessment of anxiety score in different subsets of HTN (primary vs secondary). Screening for anxiety may play an important role in the evaluation of patients with hypertension.