High Blood Pressure Runs in Families
Men Whose Parents Have Hypertension Are Likely to Develop the Condition Themselves, Study Shows
WebMD News Archive
March 24, 2008 -- Guys, listen up. When it comes to high blood pressure, the apple
doesn't fall very far from the tree.
That's according to new study results that show if your parents have high blood pressure, you are likely
to have it as well.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University tracked 1,160 men, first
interviewed when they were medical students. The men were surveyed every year
until they were in their 90s.
"Men with both parents with hypertension or men with one parent who was
hypertensive before the age of 55 years had a much higher risk of developing
hypertension, especially at a younger age," according to the study authors
in a news release.
Early Onset Carries Bigger Risk
Here are some of the findings:
- Men whose parents had hypertension were four times more likely to develop
it themselves by age 40 compared with men whose parents did not have high blood
- Men whose parents developed high blood pressure at age 55 or younger were
seven times more likely to develop hypertension themselves throughout their
adult life compared with those without a parent with high blood pressure.
- Men with both parents who had early-onset high blood pressure were 20 times
more likely to develop it themselves by the time they turned 35, compared with
men whose parents had normal blood pressure.
Researchers factored in the participants' physical activity. They also looked
at how much alcohol and coffee the men drank and whether they smoked
According to the study's authors, the findings show that it's important for
doctors to check with patients, especially younger ones, about whether their
parents have high blood pressure.
In the news release, the authors add that the findings also "underscore
the importance of primary prevention and blood pressure monitoring early in
life in men with parental hypertension, especially those who have a parent with
early onset hypertension."
The study appears in the March 24 issue of the Archives of Internal