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According to a recent study by researchers in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, high blood pressure is becoming more common among young adults. This trend has resulted in an increase in the percentage of individuals at risk for heart problems later in life. Of particular concern for researchers is the top number, or systolic, pressure reading.
Normal blood pressure readings for young adults appear in the range of 120 over 80. What concerns physicians is readings exceeding 140 systolic (top) and 90 diastolic (bottom). High systolic blood pressure has been found to increase the risk of heart disease by 55% for women and 23% for men. Of pressing concern, the number of cases identified with high systolic blood pressure doubled between the years 1994 and 2004.
A variety of attributions have been made for the increase if high blood pressure readings including obesity and sedentary lifestyles. Researchers are urging patients to monitor blood pressure and lifestyle choices to reduce serious health risks. Early identification, treatment, and lifestyle modification can help prevent heart disease later in life.