Hypertension Serious in Young Men
High blood pressure is more common in younger men, and should be taken just as serious as in their older counterparts.
Another Complication Worth Considering
If the threat of premature death from complications of untreated high blood
pressure doesn't get your attention, perhaps this will: A recent study showed
that men with high blood pressure were 2.5 times as likely as men with normal
pressure to develop erectile dysfunction (ED). Men with prehypertension also
had a higher incidence of ED than did men with normal pressure.
Michael Doumas, MD, of the University of Athens in Greece, presented the
study at the American Society of Hypertension 20th Annual Scientific Meeting
and Exposition. In order to assess the link between hypertension and erectile
dysfunction, researchers excluded men who had a history of diabetes, heart
disease, renal failure, or liver and vascular disease, which are associated
While the study of men aged 31 to 65 didn't compare younger vs. older men,
the fact that more than one-third of the participants with high blood pressure
had erectile dysfunction should be seen as another very good reason to seek
treatment and follow doctor's orders.
Young men with hypertension often have what's called "metabolic syndrome,"
which is known to contribute to heart disease and diabetes. It includes a
cluster of risk factors found in an individual and include excess body fat
(especially around the waist and chest), high cholesterol, and insulin
resistance. Studies have also shown that early vertex baldness can be
associated with HBP. In addition, obstructive sleep apnea and snoring are
linked to HBP in men in general.
Family history plays a role, but whether its importance varies with age of
onset is unknown. "From epidemiological and twin studies, estimates range from
10% to 40%," says Ulrich Broeckel, MD, who is researching the role of genetics
in hypertension. The goal of research is to subcategorize hypertension in order
to improve diagnosis and treatment. "We're not ready for a diagnostic test, but
ultimately we'll treat patients better based on their genetic makeup."
Learn to Manage Anger
Managing anger may be more important for younger men than older men, says
Charles Spielberger, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of South
Florida in Tampa. "I don't know of studies that look only at men under age 35,
but a young man is dealing with a lifelong habit of anger," he tells WebMD.