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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers identify risks of hypertension in young adults
Date:7/27/2010

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL - July 27, 2010 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers reveal in a new, large-scale study that "normal" blood pressure at age 17 can still predict hypertension at early adulthood and that teenage boys are three to four times more likely to develop high blood pressure in early adulthood than girls.

According to the study published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, the research team assessed how teenage boys and girls with normal blood pressure might progress into becoming young adults with hypertension. Currently, systolic blood pressures of 100 to 110 and even up to 120 are considered within the normal range for adolescents. Other traits like weight, height and body mass index (BMI) have a range of distribution that is considered "normal."

"Frequently called the 'silent killer,' hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and vascular diseases like stroke," explains researcher Dr. Assaf Rudich, an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at BGU. "It is increasing along with the obesity epidemic, but regrettably, young adults who are otherwise healthy frequently are not screened for becoming hypertensive."

The BGU researchers examined the development of blood pressure from adolescence to young adulthood in 23,191 boys and 3,789 girls from ages 17 to 42 by taking regular readings of their blood pressure and BMI of Israel Defense Forces personnel who were not hypertensive at age 17 in their initial evaluation before recruitment.

The study revealed two substantive findings:

  • In boys, there is a strong correlation between blood pressure and BMI at age 17. This means that while the blood pressure reading may be in the "normal range," there is a greater risk for hypertension when BMI is also evaluated. The rate of progression to hypertension is higher in boys whose systolic blood pressure is 110 versus those whose bl
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Contact: Andrew Laviin
andrewlavin@alavin.com
516-944-4486
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert

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