Hypertension in young adults may increase risk for heart disease later in life, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Researchers tracked blood pressure readings for 2,479 participants as part of the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study for 25 years. With the aid of heart imaging technology, researchers were able to note that those who had signs of prehypertension at the beginning of the study experienced more cardiovascular complications in middle age. This study demonstrates that even slight chronic elevated blood pressure during early adulthood can have consequences on heart health by middle age. As many as 30 percent of those with hypertension go undiagnosed. The authors suggest young adults avoid hypertension through a diet low in sodium, a healthful body weight, and regular exercise.
- Kishi S, Teixido-Tura G, Ning H, et al. Cumulative blood pressure in early adulthood and cardiac dysfunction in middle age the CARDIA study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65:2679-2687.