Diovan (valsartan), an angiotensin receptor blocker or ARB, has been approved following a priority review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of high blood pressure in children and adolescents ages six to 16.

High blood pressure has become a multigenerational health issue. Thirty percent of American adults are currently living with high blood pressure and now there are reports that nearly five percent of children and adolescents may have this condition(1).

Experts suggest that the increase in incidence of high blood pressure among children and adolescents is linked to the growing pediatric obesity epidemic(2,3). Based on the National Health and Nutrition Surveys (NHANES), the percentage of overweight children (six to 11 years old) increased from 13.8% to 16.0% between 1999 and 2004, while the share of overweight adolescents (12 to 19 years old) rose from 14.0% to 18.2% during the same period.

Clinical studies have shown that Diovan effectively lowers blood pressure. Diovan specifically blocks a hormone that causes arteries to constrict (tighten and narrow), an action that can cause high blood pressure.