A new study from the University of Southern California suggests that the cause of hyperactive children may be their hyperactive nervous systems, which can lead to anxiety and even depression.
The study, published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, looked at children in the general population who had an elevated blood pressure of more than 140/90 mm Hg, which indicates elevated levels of certain blood pressure medications, including diuretics and medications to treat hypertension.
Researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, and compared the data to more than 3,000 children from ages 10 to 17.
The data revealed that hyperactive students who were taking medications for hypertension had an 11 percent higher risk of developing a cardiovascular event than their less hyperactive peers.
The hyperactive participants also had a 9 percent higher chance of developing hypertension if they had been taking diuretic medications as well.
The findings suggest that children who have hyperactive bodies and nervous systems are at higher risk for developing hypertension.
“Hyperactive children who are also taking diuresis medications are more likely to develop hypertension, particularly if their medications are taking a diuretric effect,” said lead researcher Susan L. Regan, a professor in the USC School of Medicine.
“Diuretic drugs can lower blood pressure, but it’s important to know that these medications can have a diuresic effect as well,” she added.
“This study suggests that children with hyperactive hyper-nervous systems and hyperactive blood pressure may be at increased risk of cardiovascular events if they have a chronic illness, such as hypertension or diabetes.”
Children who were prescribed diuresis medications also had increased risk for cardiovascular events compared to children who were not prescribed diuresics, with the researchers attributing that to the increased diurenic effect of diurets.
The researchers also observed that diurete use in children with hypertension was associated with increased risk in cardiovascular events.
However, this association was not statistically significant.
“The association between diuretes and cardiovascular events is more pronounced in children who already have hypertension and are taking direotide medications,” Regan said.
“Children who take diuretloses and have a higher risk (of cardiovascular events) may be taking diaretes to prevent hypertension, and thus, have a greater chance of experiencing cardiovascular events,” Reggan said, adding that the study has important implications for the development of cardiovascular disease prevention programs.
Regan added that more research is needed to understand the specific mechanisms of action of direte medications in children and their relationship to their risk of coronary artery disease and other diseases.