Blood Pressure: Elevated Levels In Youth Associated With Heart Problems In Middle-Age

First Posted: Jun 22, 2015 08:43 PM EDT

New findings published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reveal that young adults who had elevated blood pressure for long periods of time are more likely to show signs of cardiac dysfunction in middle age.

For the study, researchers followed 2,479 men and women for 25 years, conducting health assessments that included blood pressure readings seven times throughout the study period beginning as part of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Researchers used cardiac imaging to then assess several measures of heart function when the study ended.

Findings revealed that participants who had blood pressure that was on the higher end of the normal range when they were younger (between the ages of 18 to 30) were more likely to have left ventricle dysfunction during middle age.

The study results show just how important early health interventions are at preventing problems in the future. Researchers noted that young adults at risk should take steps to reduce elevated blood pressure by reducing sodium intake, being physically active, maintaining an ideal body weight and staying up to date with doctor checkups for their health.

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