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HHS HealthBeat (March 17, 2014)

Too high too early

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

Above-normal blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, and a study indicates the danger can be seen as early as age 18.

At the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Norinna Allen looked at 25 years of data on almost 4,700 people ages 18 to 55. The participants started in the study at ages 18 to 25.

Allen says the young people who had elevated blood pressure – higher than normal, but not at high blood pressure levels – were more likely to develop high blood pressure by middle age:

“We know now that what happens in your twenties and thirties impacts your risk for heart disease.”

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association 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: March 17, 2014