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

Diabetes risk tied to weight gain in youth

Oct. 29, 2013, MedPage Today

By Michael Smith

The risk of developing diabetes in adulthood is associated with weight in adolescence and weight gain during the teens and early 20s, researchers reported.

In a longitudinal cohort of teens and young adults, the timing of the weight gain also appeared to play a role in diabetes risk, according to Penny Gordon-Larsen, Ph.D., a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

On the other hand, hypertension in adulthood was associated just with adult body mass index (BMI), while inflammation was linked only to increasing BMI, Gordon-Larsen and colleagues reported in the November issue of Obesity. Continue reading

High blood pressure common among overweight kids

Oct. 10, 2013, HealthDay

Overweight and obese children have a high risk of developing high blood pressure, a new study warns.

Researchers analyzed the health records of nearly 250,000 children, aged 6 to 17, in California, and found those who were overweight were twice as likely as normal-weight children to have high blood pressure (hypertension).

The risk was four times higher in moderately obese children and teens, and 10 times higher in those who were extremely obese, according to the study, which was published Oct. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension. 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