High blood pressure or hypertension affects the population around the world. Notably, it increases in the young population. According to the world health organisation (WHO), 42% of young people are diagnosed with hypertension.
Studies suggest that an unhealthy lifestyle, an irregular diet, and conditions like obesity increase the prevalence of hypertension in the young population .. Further clinical risk can emerge from having high blood pressure.1,2
What is high blood pressure?
The systolic and diastolic blood pressure are limits that indicate if the pressure levels are higher or lower. According to the American heart association guideline, if systolic blood pressure is 130mmHg or higher and diastolic blood pressure reading is 80mmHg or higher persistently, this condition is hypertension.
When the heart contracts its muscle, the blood vessel experiences normal blood pressure: the reaction refers to systolic blood pressure. The resting phase is between the heartbeat.
Elevated Blood pressure affects different types of organs in the body: including the heart, the kidney, the eye region, and the brain.
What signs and symptoms are expected in of high blood pressure?
Hypertension is a silent killer condition; asymptomatic ( no symptoms appeared) , even with the dangerous increase in the blood pressure. Some people can experience:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Nose bleeding
- Face flushing
- Blood spots in eye3
How do signs and symptoms differ in young person?
Due to unhealthy and stressful lifestyles, young adults are prone to develop hypertension. Symptoms of hypertension in young person are:
- Blurry Vision
- Nose bleeds
- Shortness of breath
What causes this reaction and what are the risk factors?
Hypertension results from various factors. However, we failed to know the exact cause of normal blood pressure to soar. Primary and secondary are derived from hypertension.
Primary Hypertension: Primary or essential hypertension is described as unknown symptoms. It takes years to develop. It develops due to genetic factors or an unhealthy lifestyle.
Factors contributing to primary hypertension.
- Family history of hypertension
- Unhealthy diet and high salt intake
- Caffeine intake or alcoholic drinks
- Sleeping issues
- Comorbidities such as diabetes etc
Secondary Hypertension: The cause of symptoms is known and can develop sudden health issues, diseases, or side effects of certain medications seen in young adults.
Factors contributing to the risk factor of secondary hypertension are:
- Sleep apnea
- Hormonal problems
- Kidney failure
- Medications such as birth control pills and antidepressants
What are the complications?
If hypertension is not treated and managed, it can lead to severe complications such as the excessive force of blood pressure and cause damage to the arteries walls.
- Heart Problem : Elevated blood pressure damages the arteries walls by losing of elasticity and being rigid . Insufficient blood flow affects the blood supply to the heart foundation and causes angina, heart attack, or heart failure
- Kidney Problems: Kidney failure is at higher risk to develop chronic conditions because high blood pressure impacting the blood vessels and weakens the organ
- Eye Problems: Increased risk blood pressure affects the eye blood vessels: develops damage in the eye, and causes vision loss.
- Brain Problems: High blood pressure affects the blood flow supply migrating to the heart. The reaction causes blockage resulting in a stroke or haemorrhage
- Cognitive Issue: Death of the brain cells due to the lack of oxygen supply affects cognitive ability and develops dementia
- Metabolic disorders: The reaction causes the inability to break complex compounds in the body to produce energy and increases the number of triglycerides causing several diseases4
What tool is used for diagnosis?
A sphygmomanometer measures the blood pressure level. The instrument is available in local pharmacies for home testing. However, it's better to contact a health professionals who can suggest a proper diagnosis after taking a medical history.
What treatment is used?
The treatment is tailored according to the hypertension stage the patient experiences. But specific healthy changes in lifestyle and diet are necessary to get the proper results with medication.
- Lifestyle changes:
- Eat a healthy diet with less salt consumption including green vegetables and fruits
- Avoid beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol
- Increase physical activity such as exercises, walking, etc
- Control your weight
Medication is prescribed according to the age, the cause, the type of hypertension, and analysing the patient's medical history. Hypertension medications given are ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, A angiotensin 2 receptors blockers, diuretics and beta-blockers.5
When to see a doctor?
Hypertension is an asymptomatic condition. Performing blood screening is necessary, especially if you are at risk factor of hypertension. Symptoms experienced like headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, or bleeding from the nose. Check your blood pressure with the help of another person or public health professionals and primary care provider. Take two readings between gaps from the blood pressure reading machine to confirm the result. 180mmHg/140mmHg means you need to go on an emergency.6
Causes of high blood pressures in young adults
Young people develop hypertension due to primary hypertension. Hypertension is asymptomatic. Sometimes at puberty, the age experiences elevated blood pressure due to hormonal changes. However, an unhealthy lifestyle and imbalance between work and life add pressure affecting their health. Some of the reasons are as follows:
- Lack of Physical activities
- Increase screen hours
- Poor diet
- Preservative Food
- Changes in Sleep pattern
- Hormonal Problem
- Kidney disease
Is high blood pressure common in young adults?
High blood pressure diagnosis usually is in the young adults population. Studies share that from the age of 20 to 40 years old, that is 1 in 8 individuals are affected with hypertension due to stressful routines, work and life imbalance. Long sitting hours impact our health and develop hypertension associated with the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, brain and kidney diseases.
Ways to prevent high blood pressure for young adults
- Add nutritious food to the diet in a balanced way
- Control on body weight
- Avoid alcoholic, caffeine, and carbonated drinks
- Simple exercises and physical activities
- Limit screen time7
High blood pressure in young adults is common usually due to poor lifestyle and diet. High blood pressure which increases the mortality rate and chances of developing heart, kidney, and brain disease. However, certain modifications with lifestyle and dietary changes help to prevent hypertension. A doctor should prescribe blood pressure medication tailored to the patient's needs to manage hypertension.
- De Venecia T, Lu M, Figueredo VM. Hypertension in young adults. Postgrad Med. 2016;128(2):201–7.
- Hypertension [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 22]. Available from: https://www.who.int/health-topics/hypertension
- CDC. High blood pressure symptoms, causes, and problems | CDC. Gov [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021 [cited 2022 Sep 22]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/about.htm
- Nuraini B. Risk factors of hypertension. Jurnal Majority [Internet]. 2015 Jan 26 [cited 2022 Sep 22];4(5). Available from: https://juke.kedokteran.unila.ac.id/index.php/majority/article/view/602
- Maron BA, Galiè N. Diagnosis, treatment, and clinical management of pulmonary arterial hypertension in the contemporary era: a review. JAMA Cardiology [Internet]. 2016 Dec 1 [cited 2022 Sep 22];1(9):1056–65. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2016.4471
- Zayed DA. When to see a cardiologist for high blood pressure? - by dr. Ahmed zayed [Internet]. Get Second Opinion Now. 2019 [cited 2022 Sep 22]. Available from: https://bestdoctor.com/blog/when-to-see-a-cardiologist-for-high-blood-pressure/
- Zhang Y, Moran AE. Trends in the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension among young adults in the united states, 1999 to 2014. Hypertension [Internet]. 2017 Oct [cited 2022 Sep 22];70(4):736–42. Available from: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.117.09801