Higher blood pressure at 18 means hardening arteries at 40

Feb. 4, 2014, NPR [Shots Blog]

By Maanvi Singh

Young people in their teens and early 20s probably aren’t thinking about heart disease. But maybe it’s time they did.

People who have slightly higher blood pressure when they’re ages 18 to 25 are more likely to have high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries in their 40s, a study says. About one quarter of the people in this study were in that group.

“We need to be aware that what happens when we’re young adults is going to have an impact,” says Norrina Allen, an epidemiologist and the study’s lead author.

She and her colleagues at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine looked at data from 4,600 men and women in Chicago, Birmingham, Ala., Minneapolis, and Oakland, Calif., who have been followed for over 25 years. About 19 percent of the people had blood pressure that was consistently higher than their peers. Another 5 percent started with higher blood pressure that then rose over time. Continue reading

Obese kids at four-times risk of high blood pressure

Sept. 12, 2013, Everyday Health

By Amir Khan

Childhood obesity can lead to a host of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, and the risk may be worse than previously thought, according to preliminary new research being presented at the American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions meeting. Researchers found that obese children are at a four-time higher risk of developing high blood pressure in adulthood compared to non-obese children – a finding that further underscores the danger of the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.

Researchers tracked 1,117 healthy adolescents for 27 years, beginning in 1986, and found that 16 percent were overweight, with another 16 percent obese. As adults, 26 percent of the obese children developed high blood pressure, compared to 14 percent of overweight children and 6 percent of normal weight children. Continue reading

Type 2 diabetes progresses faster in kids, study finds

HealthDay, HealthDay

By Serena Gordon

Type 2 diabetes is more aggressive in children than adults, with signs of serious complications seen just a few years after diagnosis, new research finds.

“Based on the latest results, it seems like type 2 is progressing more rapidly in children,” said Dr. Jane Chiang, senior vice president of medical affairs and community information for the American Diabetes Association. “Complications are appearing faster, and it appears to be at a more significant rate than we see in adults.”

The results are alarming, Chiang and other experts said. “If these children continue to progress this rapidly, we could see many of the consequences of type 2 diabetes at a much younger age, like kidney disease and heart disease,” she said. Continue reading

Obese states: The highest and lowest rates of obesity, by state

March, 6, 2013, Huffington Post

The obesity rate in the United States is, on a whole, staying steady, according to a new Gallup-Healthways report.

The report shows that the obesity rate was 26.2 percent in 2012, which is about the same as the 26.1 percent rate in 2011.

State obesity rates have also largely remained unchanged, with only three states experiencing an increase in obesity — New Jersey, North Carolina, and Georgia — and one state actually experiencing a decrease in obesity — Delaware. Continue reading