Hypertension (high blood pressure) is an important health issue in children, because of its association with obesity. High blood pressure is considered a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and high BP in childhood has been linked to high BP in adulthood.
This calculator can help to determine whether a child has a healthy blood pressure for his/her height, age and gender. In boys and girls, the normal range of blood pressure varies based on height percentile and age. This calculator automatically adjusts for differences in height, age and gender, calculating a child's height percentile along with blood pressure percentile. The normal blood pressure range, while steadily increasing with age, will shift based on the child's height.
If you mouse-over the graphs, you'll see the data values for points you hover over.
The pop-up will identify the percentile line, followed by the age (yrs), then the value being graphed (blood pressure). Mouse-over the subject's data point to see the subject's data values.
The BP reference data include the 50th, 90th, 95th, and 99th percentiles for age and height for both boys and girls. So the graphs on this page show the upper half of the blood pressure range found in children. Normal BP is defined as systolic and diastolic blood pressures that are below the 90th percentile. The systolic number represents BP in blood vessels when a heart beats. The diastolic number is the pressure in blood vessels between beats, when the heart is at rest.
Blood pressure is not always consistent, and can vary even when the child is resting. Thus, elevated BP readings should be repeated and confirmed over several visits before a child is identified as having hypertension. The most precise measure of a child's BP is an average of multiple measurements taken over several weeks (or even months) by a health professional.
A common approach is to obtain 3 assessments from different days to more reliably measure blood pressure.
BP-for-age status categories and their related percentile ranges are shown in the following table:
|Blood Pressure for Age - Status Categories|
|A Systolic and/or Diastolic BP Percentile of:||Suggests that a child has:|
|Equal to or greater than the 95th percentile||Hypertension|
|90th to less than the 95th percentile||Prehypertension|
|BP greater than 120/80 mm Hg||Prehypertension (Elevated) *|
* Readings for Children with BP exceeding 120/80 mm Hg may indicate Stage 1 or Stage 2 hypertension, so putting those BP readings into the context of percentiles can help a health care provider determine appropriate treatment.
To be accurately diagnosed with hypertension, a child must have systolic or diastolic blood pressure equal to or greater than the 95th percentile on three separate occasions.
You can read more about blood pressure on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site: CDC.
The tools provided here are based on publicly available data from the following source:
The Fourth Report on the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Individual results, when compared to other children, can be affected by many factors. Thus, this software should not be used for medical diagnostic or treatment purposes. Additionally, the authors and their affiliated institutions are not liable for any damages to users or third parties arising from the use of this software.
This software is protected under international copyright law. Unauthorized duplication or distribution is a violation of copyright. Entering this section of the web site implies acceptance of the conditions stated above.
National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents. The fourth report on the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure in children and adolescents. Pediatrics 2004; 114(2 Suppl 4th Report): 555-76.
Rosner B, Cook N, Portman R, Daniels S, Falkner B. Determination of blood pressure percentiles in normal-weight children: some methodological issues. Am J Epidemiol 2008; 167(6): 653-66.