A team of researchers led by Yuichiro Yano from the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago found that young and middle-aged adults with isolated systolic hypertension (high blood pressure) are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.
The study, entitled “Isolated Systolic Hypertension in Young and Middle-Aged Adults and 31-Year Risk for Cardiovascular Mortality,” was recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
In this large study, 27,081 young and middle-aged adults from the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry Study were followed for a mean period time of 31 years.
Results from the study revealed that men with high blood pressure have a 23% risk of dying by cardiovascular disease compared to men with normal blood pressure, while women with high blood pressure have a 55% increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women with normal blood pressure.
In a recent press release, the study’s lead author Yuichiro Yano, MD, of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago said concerning the results, “Until now, physicians have not considered isolated systolic hypertension to be bad, but this study shows higher risk,” “By identifying risks in younger populations, they can be made aware of the need to maintain cardiovascular health as they age.”
In the press release, Dr. Yano said, “We were surprised to find that women with isolated systolic hypertension were not so rare (25 percent of younger and middle-aged adults with isolated systolic hypertension were women),” “Their cardiovascular disease risk is higher than we thought it would be.”
In the United States, the obesity epidemic increases the prevalence of isolated systolic hypertension. “This study found consistently higher body mass index and cholesterol levels in young and middle-aged adults with isolated systolic hypertension,” Dr. Yano added. “Obesity was not the main focus of this study, but our research resulted in very interesting data.”
“The benefits of treatment for isolated systolic hypertension among the elderly has been proven, but such evidence does not exist for younger and middle-aged adults,” the authors said in the study.
“Further research is warranted, including clinical trials and studies seeking better ways (e.g. central BP monitoring, biomarkers) to identify younger and middle-aged adults with isolated systolic hypertension who are at especially greater risk for developing cardiovascular events,” the authors concluded.