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Thu May 26, 2011
Young Adults Show High Blood Pressure
More young adults are developing high blood pressure - that's the finding of research from UNC Chapel Hill.
Since 1995, researchers around the country have been interviewing groups of adolescents and then following them and their health as they grow into adulthood. The study - calledAdd Health - is lead by demographer Kathleen Mullen Harris, from UNC. Harris says they found about one-in-five people in their twenties and early thirties had high blood pressure. And that's worrisome.
Kathleen Mullen Harris: "I'm referring to this as a sleeping epidemic because, you know, we tend to think of young people as relatively healthy. Our finding that most of them who had high blood pressure did not even know it. And it's also asymptomatic... you don't have symptoms, you... you're not feeling any different, even though your blood pressure is high."
Over time, high blood pressure can lead to problems with eyes, kidneys, the heart or brain. Harris says it appears diet, excess weight and sedentary lifestyles are contributing to the high rate.