View Full Version : Hypertension is more widespread than previously thought

05-29-2011, 08:26 PM

One in five young adults may have high blood pressure

Nearly one in five young U.S. adults may have high blood pressure, researchers said on Wednesday in a study suggesting the problem of hypertension is more widespread than previously thought.

Hypertension is easy to prevent and inexpensive to treat through diet, exercise and drugs, yet it is the second-leading cause of death in the United States. The Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences that often conducts studies for the government, last year declared high blood pressure a "neglected disease" that costs the U.S. health system $73 billion a year.

The latest findings by a team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are in sharp contrast to a federal government study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that suggested only 4 percent of young adults might have high blood pressure, a condition that raises the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Both studies used the same definition of hypertension: a blood pressure reading of 140 over 90 millimeters of mercury or more. Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120 over 80 or lower.

"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," said Quynh Nguyen, a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, whose study appears online in the journal Epidemiology.

The researchers did not study why the numbers may be rising or relate the findings to U.S. intake of sodium, a major contributor to high blood pressure.

U.S. health officials say the study is a worrisome signal, but are cautious to embrace the new findings until they have been confirmed in other studies.

High blood pressure, or too much force exerted by blood as it moves against vessel walls, is the leading risk factor for premature death worldwide.

For the study, the team analyzed data on more than 14,000 men and women between 24 and 32 years old in 2008 from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, known as Add Health, funded by the National Institutes of Health.

They found 19 percent had elevated blood pressure, and only about half of these individuals had ever been told by their doctor that they had the condition.

The team considered several explanations for the discrepancy between the two studies, including differences in the participants, where they were examined, and the accuracy and reliability of the measured blood pressures.

None could account for the gap in the hypertension estimates between the two surveys.

"What we have is a new observation and we need to examine why did the numbers come out this way," Dr. Steven Hirschfeld of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, one of the National Institutes of Health, said in a telephone interview.

"This one study by itself shouldn't lead us to a revision of health policy or health assessment. it is just a signal we need to examine in greater detail," he said.

Kathleen Mullan Harris of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who led the study said the findings may differ, but the message is clear.

"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," Harris said in a statement.

05-30-2011, 05:51 AM
What this new study means to anyone is the simple fact that people in their 40's are having heart attacks and strokes because when in their earlier years they are not being tested (not enough of BP's being take enough of times to get an average of the numbers); (once a year is not enough) or/ and diagnosed with it and treated.

So, when in the age bracket of the 40's the damage to the heart muscle is already done.

I am glad they are finding this out, something which I ALREADY knew, because I did my homework. How I got my nickname was from my dad, he used to tell me, " you are one smart cookie."

I should rename my law pending in Congress, not Tim's Law, but...........I told you so Law!

NOW, maybe, my law will be passed. Wait, until, the real numbers come out...how many people die like my husband, because of shumucks like his doctor who took his BP twice, because he was a young man! So, by the time, my husband was an older man, he didn't live to get REALLY old... he just succumbed to a heart attack which wasn't neccessary. It was building up over a decade or more.

I want to thank the doctor, and someday, I will, when I hand him the paperwork which will make him accountable for being a moron.

I get to put a flag on my husband's grave today. And, my dad's. If I sound angry, I have the right to be.

Shame, Shame on doctors who don't take the time to do a BP, who assumes too much, and informs the patients of nothing. People, you would be amazed at how often this happens, especially, with the younger men.

You are what you are in life, you can't possibly know everything, but, a doctor? should know this much. To practice his skill to the best of his knowledge. You as not a doctor, cannot know, what he knows....


05-30-2011, 01:32 PM
I am in the health field, and every office visit of every patient I am aware of comes with an automatic BP check, at least in every primary care office I know.

On a positive note, I just read about a 2007 study by a Harvard doctor who studied a tribe of natives in Panama who drink about 40 cups of cocoa per week (they roast the beans at home themselves, and it's not the same sweet hot chocolate/cocoa we have here - darn!)

They have about 1/10th the number of people with strokes, cancer, and diabetes as other populations. And guess what - almost never have hypertension! Even though they eat a lot of salt.

When they move to the big cities, they do get hypertension because they change their diet away from the heavy consumption of cocoa.

The doctor doing the research thinks that some of the ingredients in dark chocolate should be classified as vitamins since they do so much good for arteries and health in general.

05-30-2011, 02:28 PM
Not trying to be nebby here, but how old are you? The reason I ask is because the doctor's especially, the GP's usually, only take the BP's as you are older! I am talking over 50. The younger men, like accordingly to the article above states, it is the younger men, men in the 20's or even 30's, that they do not take it as they should. They assume all is right. Wrong... and, the problem, herein, lies with when they hit the 40's the men already have very high numbers, BP's, cholesterol levels, etc, and are already on the road to a heart attack or stroke. They safely assume as well, no need to advise them of getting the panels done, and perhaps, some will same, "well, it is borderline, let's not put you in the system." Has anyone ever said this to you? My son heard this. My brown hair turned red. As far as babies, small children, they assume again, no need to take the BP. How sad. Because, one day, someone will die because of their mistakes.

Sure, you will find the good doctor who will take it everytime you go, but, may I ask, did they do it when you were 10? 15? 20? 25? 27? 30?

This is what they are finding out and EXACTLY, what I have been saying and falling on deaf ears. People "hear" what they want to, just like people can read into things.

I love it because Steve I have to laugh, when someone says what you did, "but the doctor does it everytime I go?" My second question then is why with men is heart disease the number one killer of any man in any age group. You can drink yourself silly and have a lessor chance of dying due to it than, heart disease. The third question, what is the number one cause of heart disease? High blood pressure. I could go on, asking, what is the number one cause of high blood pressure but, until, the doctors do what they should be doing, our men will die. Our husbands. Our dads. Our sons.

28.4% —> Heart disease
24.1% —> Cancer
5.8% —> Unintentional injuries
5.2% —> Stroke
5.1% —> Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
2.9% —> Diabetes
2.4% —> Flu and pneumonia
2.1% —> Suicide
1.6% —> Kidney disease
1.5% —> Chronic liver disease

These numbers/percentages are from 2006 and have risen, ALOT for heart disease Steve. The dark chocolate is great but, remember those with a fat intake problem due to being obese and/or diabetic this would be a big no-no.

05-30-2011, 02:31 PM
I am in my early 50s, and you are right that young adults and teens may not getting their BP checked since hypertension isn't seen as something that "happens" in young folk -

but when they do come into a doctor's office, it is pretty routine practice to take vital signs, including BP - at least in the midwest.

May be a regional thing?

05-30-2011, 02:39 PM
Dark Chocolate. I'm for it.
And they give me BP readings at the UW all the time.
It's best when it's before my morning coffee.

05-30-2011, 02:45 PM
No, it not a regional thing at all. If it was, your stats would be different in what men there die from first... it is, still heart disease.

Men generally speaking as assertive as they are in most things in life, are not with their health. Put a woman in a doctor's office as now we are speaking: assertive. We tell them, do this do that, maybe, because we do what is best for us due to kids are usually depending on us to, it doesn't matter really why we do, but, take a man, in the doctor's office, and he wants out the minute he is in there. But honestly, men do not seek medical attention as a woman does. He puts stuff off, and due to this the doctor's got to realize that he is a man, this is a man thing, and think, " geez, I might not see him for a year or 2 better take that BP, at any age.... better do the panels for make sure all the other levels are kosher." I would like the doctors to see this... because it is the truth. Instead, they usher them in and usher them out. Men, out there... get your money's worth like you would buying a new tool, your body needs looked at, and checked out... right?

Men see theirselves as being fearless, living forever, and will say, " hey, it's going to happen it will happen." Well, it happens. Ask me.

Men live dangerously taking risks, when life is too short at times, so don't push it, shorter.

Doctors know what they are supposed to be doing. To have a man in the office at age 15 and not do that young man's BP, is misguided. He should take it to have what we women call in looking for breast cancer, a baseline.

At age 15, is it creeping up at age 16? What do you think happened to my husband? He suddenly, didn't develop high blood pressure....nooooo, the doctor had at LEAST a decade to treat it. Instead, he killed him, by being misguided?

AS many doctors will do, the younger men do not get a BP done. Then, when in the 40's wham! He is lying on your basement floor and his wife is doing CPR.

Time to change the doctor's mode of thinking. High blood pressure, for whatever reason (s) start young when you die from it in the 40's.

05-30-2011, 02:51 PM
I'm confused. Are you saying that your husband had regular checkups, and his BP was never checked?

Or was his BP checked, his doctor found his BP high, but didn't treat it?

05-30-2011, 02:59 PM
This is common what this doctor did to my husband. Common... regardless, of HOW many people will say the eternal statement, " BUT he takes mine everytime." People are NOT listening when they say this... I ask, " okay, BUT, did he take your BP 20 years ago?" Silence... I can hear my own breathing. Because, the truth is, no...

My husband, went faithfully to the doctor, the first time while he was working in the field, his BP came up high. They referred him to his own doctor. He went. He took it. Said, those words..." well, it is borderline high, don't want to put you into the system."

My husband went to him constantly, for an eye problem due to work. He was then, revamping machinery for a press, newspaper press, he thought it was from the fiber & ink in the air....not so, I will explain why, not so.

He was there, at the doctor all the time because his eyes kept getting worse. He gave him sodium drops. He weighted him, 172 lbs, took his ht like he grew or shrunk, he was 6 ft, alittle over, and then, took his temp. Temp? But, no BP.

I didn't know. And, I don't think, my husband realized anything was not right. He took his BP, 11 years later...it was that borderline high again... prescribed nothing. NO advise on his medical records nothing. And, given the way my husband and I was, he would had told me.

Well, the man who did his autospy called and asked me, if I had known my husband had high blood pressure. Stating, his heart was over 560 grams and huge, his lungs were congested with fluid, his heart. He didn't stand a chance, yet, this man this doctor, the man who did his autopsy said, " he had to have had it for at LEAST least 10 years!"

His eye problem? It was from his high blood pressure.

The end.

05-30-2011, 03:10 PM
Not to make excuses for the medical profession, but standards for what constitutes hypertension have changed over the years. Not too long ago, if BP was under 140/90, no one got worked up or treated it.

Newer standards are more strict.

05-30-2011, 03:12 PM
I realize it is hard to understand for some people who think they are taken everytime. That is really a misguided statement to say the least. The particulars in it, are so great.

But, once my law is passed, and it will be passed, the numbers are going to change. For one, the numbers of people being diagnosed with High blood pressure will increase. That will sky-rocket. But, the numbers of people dying from heart attack is going to really take a nose-dive. The key to surivival is to be diagnosed, as with anything, any disease, the earlier you are diagnosed, the easier to treat and the better the outcome.

The third feature of this will be with the insurance companies. Think about it. It will widely, change things across the board. 1/3 of men alone, die from heart disease.

05-30-2011, 03:16 PM
Before we, as in a whole, can even discuss, or decide on what "numbers" constitute a high blood elevated reading, we first got to get the doctors to even do them! And, to do them at all age levels, to stop assuming.

I made a promise to my husband when I found out what happened, it wouldn't happen again. To no one. I intend on keeping that promise.

I have had only one greater love in my life than my husband, and that is God. So, God help me, because I will fix this wrong.

05-30-2011, 03:58 PM
Dark Chocolate. I'm for it.
And they give me BP readings at the UW all the time.
It's best when it's before my morning coffee.

The Morning Coffee is the best for a person. Doctors don't like it because it blows their test out of the water...

Don't forget the Olives...

05-30-2011, 04:11 PM
Before we, as in a whole, can even discuss, or decide on what "numbers" constitute a high blood elevated reading, we first got to get the doctors to even do them! And, to do them at all age levels, to stop assuming.

I made a promise to my husband when I found out what happened, it wouldn't happen again. To no one. I intend on keeping that promise.

I have had only one greater love in my life than my husband, and that is God. So, God help me, because I will fix this wrong.

Competent doctors have been routinely checking BPs for many, many years.

Mine was a little high when I was a teenager, and that was over 30 years ago. My family physician checked my BP every office visit.

So if you are saying that you want to pass a law that every doctor has to check BP, your time and money could be better spent because it is already the standard of care.

Now, what they do with that information has changed over the years. In the past, it wasn't unusual to just "watch" a borderline elevated BP reading, on the assumption that some people's BP goes up at the doctor's office due to anxiety, and if you check their BP at home, it tends to be lower.

Also, the number at which you treat high BP has changed. Doctors used to think that for those borderline readings, you don't need or want to subject a person to a lifetime of pills, all of which have their own side effects. It is a "risk/benefit ratio."

05-30-2011, 04:28 PM
Steve, I am glad, really really glad that your doctor did this for you as a teenager and then, again at each visit, which, you didn't say how often, but still like you said he did it.

BUT, for those, and there are MANY, whom did not get what you got, there are those who will not get what you got now, and in the future; and, for those people, the standard of care is not good enough. For those, it is comparable to that of a death sentence.

I know all about the white coat and that is a cop out for the doctor to use on some unsuspecting soul.

The truth of the matter as to why some or in truth, ALOT of doctors do not take a BP, is because of the time it takes when they have to wait, redo, wait, redo, then, counsel the patient. What do they do with the leftovers patients scheduled who now doesn't fit into their schedules? Most doctors and practices over book. If you work for one, you know this to be true.

I don't think you hear it when you read the numbers of deaths due to heart disease. It blows your theory right out of the water.

You as well as others, will see and understand.

05-30-2011, 04:46 PM
They are JUST finding out NOW, that one out of five young adults have high blood pressure. This just didn't suddenly happen, it was not known simply, because NO ONE USUALLY DOES THEM at that age, then, the heart because damaged over time, and IF lucky, caught early enough in the 30's or 40's to prevent their death.

What you got was great but, in the minority, be thankful, because their are many who cannot say that.

The age given for the one out of five, is the early 20's. It is ashame this was not routinely, done years ago, on younger men or women, for how many would be alive today reading this. Many.

My husband for one.

Sometimes, as much as one doesn't want a law, it has to be implemented because of greed, and greed is pretty big in the medical industry.

05-30-2011, 05:29 PM
Terry, try to book your apts in the morning and then, you shouldn't even have water by all rights. Nothing, nothing to eat or drink. If you can monitor it at home that is also, great. But, don't buy a cuff for the wrist or finger, make sure it is one for the arm, that is the closest to the heart and the truest of readings. Make sure it fits. Alot of people need a larger cuff and make sure it will be compatible with that certain machine. And, every so often either get a new one, or get it recalibrated. One other note, do not trust the blood pressure machines that you find in a supermarket to give you a true reading, Mayo Clinic even tried to recall them all, I think, was successful at places like Target, because they never recalibrated them. They give false readings.

Dark Chocolate. I'm for it.
And they give me BP readings at the UW all the time.
It's best when it's before my morning coffee.

05-30-2011, 06:15 PM
My wife is a pediatrician and has been since 1990. She was taught to always check a BP on kids.

I don't think the problem is that doctors weren't checking BPs in kids. The problem is that our diets have changed and we have become more sedentary. Kids are showing up with atherosclerosis in their arteries.

The other factor is that we have lowered the threshold to diagnosis hypertension - that is, we use lower numbers than we used to. These factors all combine to cause more kids to be diagnosed with high BP.

05-30-2011, 06:40 PM
Steve, your wife may be a doctor and that is great for you both. But, the truth is, more laws need to be in place to make those who do not want to adhere what is best for the patient a must.

There are more plumbing codes and laws to protect those than there are those who protect our health and lives.

I am sorry but the thing with diet and such is a cop out. If all doctors must adhere to do a BP, and it is high then, give advise on diet, etc. First, diagnose and do no harm.

05-30-2011, 07:16 PM
Imagine a plumbing world with no codes, no laws... Plumbers could do whatever they wanted to fix whatever, on anything. Everything would be at their discretion. Nothing would dictate to them, and when something fails that owner has no recourse. How could the owner? The plumber broke no laws or codes. But that is a pretend world. He has laws or codes to abide by. To protect you from sewage gasses in your home, so you and your family are safe.

You take your car to the mechanic. You want it checked over. But, he doesn't diagnose it all, he fails time and time again to check your brakes. He just tells you to use better oil and gas so your gas lines don't get junked up. That is it. So nothing stops you from hitting that wall. You die. Do you have recourse? You bet. What if he looked them over but thought, it still isn't all that bad knowing in a couple months they might need to be fixed? But, never told you...recourse anyone?

Now, you go time and time again to a doctor, but, the doctor doesn't take all your vitals. Only weighs you, takes your ht, wt, and temp. He missed doing the one, that can kill you. He missed the silent killer. Do you have recourse? Was he supposed to take all the vitals? Where is the law that dictates that he has to? Did he diagnose you and do you know harm?

Right now, I would be more comfortable in having a plumber take my vitals than a doctor. I am sorry Steve, but doctors are not above the law, they are just like you and me, and since, BP's are so direly, important, we need a law to make sure they are doing it. And, if not, we have recourse to make them accountable just like anyother profession in this world.

Does everyone know enough about everything to make everything safe in their lives? Does everyone know enough about putting in a water heater to do it right? And, to add an expansion tank? Does an average joe know even, if the plumber is doing it right? What gives the customer an assurance it is? A licensed plumber ? Codes, laws? That licensed plumber has to abide by?

Why wouldn't anyone want assurance of that in a doctors' office. Most people probably know less about medical than even, fixing their car or a plumbing problem. So, you have no idea if you are getting what you should be getting in an office. And, sadly, your very life depends on it or someone you love.

05-30-2011, 07:34 PM
The medical field is the only field on this earth, that has an oath they repeat inducted into doctorhood. They swear to each other and to God, to diagnose and do no harm.

Since, they have no problem repeating that oath at graduation, then, why not, take it a step further and abide to some real laws.

Either that or make it fair for the rest of the worldwide population, make all professions only repeat an oath and disregard the laws, the bylaws, and the codes.

Imagine that world. Talk about a free for all.