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HHS HealthBeat (November 20, 2013)

Growing into high blood pressure

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates that young people who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of high blood pressure, or hypertension, when they grow up.

At Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, researcher Sara Watson saw this in 27 years of data on more than 1,100 teenagers:

“Children and adolescents who were overweight had double the risk of having hypertension as young adults. Those who were obese had quadruple the risk.”

Put another way, 6 percent of normal weight youth grew up to have hypertension, but 14 percent of overweight children and 26 percent of obese children did.

Watson says it looks increasingly like heart disease starts young.

The study presented at an American Heart Association meeting was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: November 20, 2013