Blood Pressure in Young Adults

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Its estimated that one out of every five young adults has hypertension. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill looks at two studies that were done on the subject that came up with two very different results.

Dr. Hill:

Almost one in five young adults may have high blood pressure, and just half of them are aware of it despite this conditions strong link to heart attack and stroke risk.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina made those findings, which are much higher than a previous estimate of 4 percent, which came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Both studies analyzed blood pressure measurements of similar age groups around the same time, between 2007 and 2008, and both studies defined high blood pressure as 140 over 90 or higher.

The new 19 percent estimates are based on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which looked at more than 14,000 men and women ages 24 to 32.

Researchers say the new prevalence rate is alarming because many young adults dont even know they have a problem. The findings emphasize the need to continue to monitor high blood pressure in young adults.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.