Breaking News Email
Receive urgent alerts and special reports. The news and stories that count, delivered on weekday mornings.
People who develop high blood pressure before age 40 present a higher risk of heart disease and stroke in middle age, two new studies suggest.
One of the studies followed 4,800 young adults in the United States and found an increase in blood pressure before age 40 associated with risk up to 3½ times greater than heart disease and stroke in about 1
The second study looked at data on nearly 2.5 million young adults in South Korea over a decade and also found that arterial hypertension before age 40 was linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. The women in this study had up to 76% more risk of cardiovascular disease, while for men the risk was 85% higher than in peers with normal blood pressure.
"High blood pressure in early adulthood can cause different heart attacks mechanisms, and these levels of blood pressure could progress to higher levels over time," said Ramachandran Vasan of the Boston University School of Medicine and School of Public. Health.
Hypertension is often associated with other risk factors, such as excessive weight, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and smoking, which increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, Vasan, author of an accompanying editorial, stated via e-mail. These can damage target organs, including the heart and arteries, and promote thickening of the arterial walls and the accumulation of cholesterol deposits and plaques in the arteries, "thus creating a substrate (" soil ", if you want) for future heart attacks and strokes. "
For studies, both published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers evaluated hypertension using new, more aggressive targets recommended by the American Heart Association and from the American College of Cardiology in 2017. The new recommendations were based on emerging evidence suggesting that even slightly elevated blood pressure at the start of life could be a precursor of cardiovascular disease with the age of people .
Patients were classified as hypertensive when the highest number of their reading or systolic pressure (reflecting the pressure against the walls of the arteries when beating the heart), averaged at least 130 millimeters of mercury.
In addition hypertension were considered if the lower number or diastolic pressure (which reflects the pressure against the walls of the arteries when the heart rests between the beats), has an average of at least 80 millimeters of mercury.
Before the new recommendations in 2017, people were not diagnosed with high blood pressure until they had measurements of 140/90 or higher.
Not all doctors treated patients using the new, more aggressive blood pressure target, partly because of the concern that long-term use of drugs to lower blood pressure could have side effects, such as diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea or vomiting or mood disorders.
While young adults with high blood pressure should consider the potential side effects of the drug, they may be able to handle blood pressure with lifestyle changes such as eating better or exercising more, and they should discuss these options with their doctor, said the senior author of the Korean study, Dr. Sang-min Park in Seoul Nati onal University Hospital.
"We have shown that hypertension, even at a young age, may be associated with a greater risk of heart attacks or strokes," Park said by email. "Therefore, young adults with hypertension should have their blood pressure monitored on a regular basis and manage their blood pressure levels through lifestyle changes or medications."
Lifestyle changes are useful not only for reducing blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease, but they could
Neither study examined whether aggressive treatment of blood pressure could prevent people from developing diseases heart or die from it.
But the results still suggest that the treatment of blood pressure is more aggressive at a young age could help minimize the risk of premature heart problems later in life, said the lead author of the US study, Dr. Yuichiro Yano of Duke University.
"Our study is among the first to report that the younger 40-year-olds who have increased blood pressure or hypertension are at increased risk for heart failure, stroke and blood vessel blockage as they age," he said Yano by e-mail.