One in 3 US Teens at Risk for High BP

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Over one third of adolescents in the United States have low cardiorespiratory fitness, along with an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, including higher total cholesterol levels and higher blood pressure (BP), say researchers.

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 1999- 2002, researchers looked at 3110 adolescents (aged 12-19 years) who were previously free of CVD. The participants underwent treadmill training to achieve at least 75% to 90% of the age-predicted maximum heart rate, and the maximum oxygen consumption was estimated.

Low fitness was found in 33.6% of adolescents, representing 7.5 million Americans. The prevalence of low fitness was similar in both boys and girls, at 32.9% versus 34.4%. The results of the study were published in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.