Teen Blood Pressure Is Heart Disease Indicator

Published Online: Monday, September 1, 2003

    High blood pressure in the teen years and a relative rise in blood pressure from adolescence to adulthood appear to up the risk of developing atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) in adulthood, according to results of a recent study published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

    In the Atherosclerosis Risk in Young Adults study, researchers from the Netherlands evaluated atherosclerosis in 750 young adults. Using ultrasound, they measured the thickness of arteries in the neck (carotid intima-media thickness; CIMT). All the participants had at least 1 recorded blood pressure measurement at ~13 years of age. The results showed that systolic pressure during adolescence directly correlated with CIMT. For each standard deviation above normal blood pressure, the CIMT increased by 7.5 ?m. Furthermore, a similar relationship was seen between other pressures, such as pulse pressure and mean arterial pressure, and CIMT.

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