Pay attention to prehypertension in young people
We should pay attention to prehypertension in young people. Young adults with the borderline high blood pressure i.e. slightly above normal, termed prehypertension, are more likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries and heart blockages later in life, said Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India. Quoting a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, Dr Aggarwal said that of the 3,560 participants whose ages were 18 to 30 when the study started, almost 20 percent developed prehypertension -- which is blood pressure higher than 120/ 80 but below 140/80 reading of treatable high blood pressure -- before the age of 35. Coronary scans showed accumulation of calcium deposits in their arteries of the heart during the 20-year study. These low-level elevations, above 120/80, are associated with atherosclerosis later in life and probably with heart attacks and stroke. Earlier reports have shown an association between prehypertension in early adulthood and abnormalities of the heart muscles. Prehypertension early in life is associated not only with development of atherosclerosis, the formation of plaques that can eventually block arteries, but also with arteriosclerosis, stiffening of the arteries. Drug treatment is not a real option for prehypertension in young people. Hence, preventive measures should be recommended if it is found. The preventive measures include modification of lifestyle, which includes increasing physical activity, eating a low fat diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, avoid smoking and alcohol.