High blood pressure affects over 65 million Americans and is one of the major risk factors for developing hypertensive heart disease, ischemic heart disease, an increased risk of blood clots, and many other cardiovascular problems.
A study published in 2011 found that almost 19% of young adults have high blood pressure, and a more recent study found that young adults with just a slightly high blood pressure face an increased risk of heart disease by the time they reach middle age 25 years later.
The study, which was published in February 2014 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that young adults with pre-hypertension had a higher risk of plaque buildup in their arteries once they reached middle age.
The group of adults with the worst arteries had slightly high blood pressure as young adults. 25% the young adults who had slightly high blood pressure had a calcium score of over 100 as middle aged adults. A high calcium score is associated with a higher risk of a heart attack and heart disease.
Young adults should make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of heart disease
More scientific evidence is showing that the health habits and decisions a person makes when they are young have a significant impact on their health in their later years and influence their risk of developing heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
Young adults with pre-hypertension should be aware of the higher risks that they have for heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. The good news is that young people can take steps to reduce their risk of heart disease and other future health problems by controlling their blood pressure while they are still young.
Obesity is one of the major causes of high blood pressure, and losing weight is important for young adults, as obesity can also lead to several health problems later in life including diabetes and heart disease.
The DASH diet can be very effective at reducing blood pressure as it lowers daily sodium intake, as a high daily sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure. The DASH diet is high in fruits and vegetables, and in general it is a good diet for reducing a person’s risk of hypertension and heart disease.
Young adults should also exercise to reduce their risk of hypertension and heart disease. 30 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended almost every day. More intense exercise can be beneficial for maintaining a healthy blood pressure, but a physician should be consulted before increasing the intensity of an exercise routine.