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Many Young Adults May Have High Blood Pressure

Study Shows Nearly 19% of Young Adults May Have Hypertension

Comparing Studies continued...

"We need to look at this report in more detail," he says. "It is too early to make any public health recommendations based on one study."

The differences between the two studies could be due to the time of year that the blood pressure readings were taken, for example, he says.

"We also don’t know what effect this measurement would have on health," he says. "It is a one-time measurement and we don’t know where these participants were 10 years ago and where they will be 10 years from now."

Staying Vigilant About Hypertension

George Bakris, MD, a professor of medicine and the director of the Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago, says that "the new prevalence rate is alarming because many young adults don’t even know they have a problem," he says. "Given the high salt and fat intake and tendency toward sedentary lifestyle, [the prevalence] is not a surprise."

"Young adults and families of young adults should be more vigilant and aware of their blood pressure," he says.

This starts with getting a proper measurement and finding out whether or not there is problem.

"This problem is easily fixable if young adults are willing to alter their lifestyle," he says. Typically young adults may be able to control high blood pressure with lifestyle changes such as reducing sodium intake and losing weight. It’s worth it, he says. "Keeping your blood pressure down through your teen years can delay risk of heart attack or stroke by 10 to 15 years."

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