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Teen Boys At Greater Risk To High Blood Pressure Than Girls

A Canadian Study finds that adolescence boys are at higher risk for high blood pressure than girls of the same age.// Researchers have found that the seeds of hypertension and its health effects start before adulthood. Cardiologists say that smoking, stress management, lack of exercise, obesity are some of the factors for the cause of high blood pressure, which can result in heart damages.

In the study which began in 1999, Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta, a physician at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal and her colleagues studied around 1300 Montreal teenagers (614 boys and 653 girls) and found that the risk for elevated systolic blood pressure remained stable among teen girls while the risk for boys rose over time. (Systolic pressure is the top number in the ratio, over Diastolic).

Dr. Dasgupta added that “By the age of 15, the boys were twice as likely as the girls, and by 17 they were two and half times as likely as the girls, to have a blood pressure" in the top range for their age and height.

Dr. Dasgupta's research papers were published in Tuesday's issue of the U.S. journal Circulation. The research analyzed data from a 1999 to 2005 study on lifestyle behaviours among teens, including tobacco use and physical and sedentary activities. The study also measured blood pressure every two years.

The research concluded: "Boys are more likely than girls to develop high Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) as they approach adulthood." "Even among overweight adolescents, reducing sedentary behaviour and increasing physical activity may lower the risk of high SBP."

"We were interested in the whole area of adult hypertension (high blood pressure) and the fact that men are more likely to get hypertension than women," she said. "So we wanted to look at this group of adolescents and see when during adolescence do boys and girls start differing in their likelihood for having higher blood pressure levels."

Study found t hat there is an association between overweight and a two-to threefold risk of having elevated blood pressure among both male and female teens and physical activities decreases the risk of high BP for both the sexes. As well, "the more hours they clocked in sedentary behaviours - so that could be television, Internet use, video games - the more likely they were to have the higher systolic blood pressures," said Dr. Dasgupta.

"We knew in adults being overweight and sedentary eventually will lead you to have hypertension, cholesterol problems, diabetes and, in the long term, cardiovascular disease." – She added.


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