The last person you’d expect to struggle with heart diseases and hypertension is a young person. However, recently, the number of young people being affected by these diseases has increased over time and now scientists believe that young people who suffer from moderate to high blood pressure, which increases over time, might be at risk of poor brain health later on in life.
The Shocking Discovery
The study that’s published in JAMA Network Open concludes that elevated blood pressure levels at a young age, which increases over time, can have a significant impact on the structure of the brain. It can also speed up the decline of brain health later in life. Pamela J. Schreiner, co-author, and professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota claimed many people believe that when they’re young, they are invincible, and thus, they are only subjected to diseases later on in life. She went on to add that it is what we do during those younger years that matters more.
Factors Leading To High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is said to be a silent disease as it’s usually asymptomatic, which means that there are no prominent symptoms that might indicate that one’s suffering from it - until it reaches a critical level. This is the point where the person is at risk of a heart attack or even a stroke. So, what causes hypertension? There are the various factors outlined by the CDC:
- High sodium intake or low potassium intake
- Lack of exercise
- Excessive intake of alcohol
- Use of tobacco
- Genetics or family history
Groups Those Are Most Likely To Develop Hypertension
Wanpen Vongpatansin, MD, a hypertension specialist and cardiologist, talks about hypertension in young people, and how they’re more vulnerable to the disease as they are least likely to monitor their blood pressure. However, certain groups are more vulnerable to hypertension than others. The CDC lists them below:
- Men are more vulnerable to high blood pressure as 50% of men compared to 44% of women have this condition.
- Hypertension is also common amongst groups like non-Hispanic, African-American adults. It’s estimated that 56% of non-Hispanic African-American adults have high blood pressure compared to 48% of non-Hispanic white adults; 46% of non-Hispanic Asian adults and 39% of Hispanic adults.
This new research is a reminder for everyone to start taking their health seriously.