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Early Disease Detection

Hypertension Among Young Adults More Widespread

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A study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill indicate that almost one in five young adults in the United States may suffer from high blood pressure. The results of the research, which were revealed on Wednesday, suggest that hypertension may be more prevalent that what is generally believed.

hypertensionA feature on Fox News shared that the new research presented a different picture from that of a federal government study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The latter indicated that only a small percentage – 4 percent – of young adults suffered from hypertension, a condition which was defined in both studies as having a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill doctoral student Quynh Nguyen said that “the findings are significant because they indicate that many young adults are at risk of developing heart disease, but are unaware that they have hypertension.”

The study made use of data provided by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. The analysis included data from more than 14,000 participants, consisting of men and women between the ages of 24 and 32 years old, in 2008.

The results of the analysis indicated that 19 percent of the test population had high blood pressure – but only about half of them know that they have it.

Kathleen Mullan Harris, who led the study, shared: “Young adults and the medical professionals they visit shouldn’t assume they’re not old enough to have high blood pressure. This is a condition that leads to chronic illness, premature death and costly medical treatment.”

Early Disease Detection

Awareness Among Those Suffering from Hypertension Increases

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A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed relatively good news in terms of high blood pressure awareness. According to a feature on WebMD, the CDC report shared that more people who are suffering from high blood pressure know that they have the condition.

hypertensionThe percentage of Americans who are aware that they are suffering from high blood pressure has increased to 80.6% in 2007-2008, from 69.6% in 1999-2000. This increase is accompanied by an increase in the percentage of people who are taking medications for the conditions, which went up to 73.7% in 2007-2008, from 60.2% in 1999-2000.

Researchers have attributed findings that indicated an increase in the percentage of people whose high blood pressure was controlled in the past decade to this apparent increase in awareness.

Nieca Goldberg, M.D., director of the Women’s Heart Program and clinical associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center, shared the following of the report from the CDC: “We are now seeing more people being treated with medication, particularly younger people. There has to be a greater effort to impress healthy lifestyles on young people because long standing hypertension can lead to heart attack, stroke and heart failure.”

The report signifies that efforts towards increasing public awareness in hypertension seem to be working. Despite the increase in awareness, however, the incidence of hypertension among adults has held steady over the past decade. This is true for men and women, all adult age groups, non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Mexican-Americans.