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Health Spotlight: High Blood Pressure in Younger Years Can Mean Heart Disease Later

November 08, 2018

Credit:Africa Studio – Fotolia
Copyright:Africa Studio – Fotolia

 

A new study published in JAMA this week highlights the potential consequences of having high blood pressure as a young adult. This study tracked nearly 5,000 participants ages 18-30 for an average of 19 years.

“About half the group had normal blood pressure of 120/80 or lower. Compared with them, those with elevated pressure — 120-129/80 or higher — were 67 percent more likely to have had cardiovascular problems. People with readings of 130-139/80-89 had a 75 percent increased risk, and those with readings above 140/90 were three and a half times as likely to have some type of cardiovascular disease.” (New York Times).

Many folks don’t start thinking about their heart health until middle age or older, but this study shows us how important it is for all of us to know our health numbers and to take strides to be healthier. High blood pressure (hypertension) can be improved by weight loss, physical exercise, a healthy diet, stopping tobacco use, and/or pharmacologic intervention. However, in younger patients, lifestyle changes are usually the best option to pursue.

 

To read more about the study, click these links: