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High Early Adulthood BP Ups Mortality Risk in Later Years

Increased risk for overall, cardiovascular, coronary heart disease, but not stroke, mortality

MONDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Men with higher blood pressure in early adulthood have an increased risk of overall, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in later life, according to a study published in the Nov. 29 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Linsay Gray, Ph.D., from the U.K. Medical Research Council/Chief Scientist Office Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, and colleagues investigated the correlation between early adulthood blood pressure and CVD mortality in men, taking into account middle-age hypertension. Blood pressure was measured in 18,881 males at university entry (1914 to 1952; mean age, 18.3 years), who subsequently reported their physician-diagnosed hypertension status at a mean age of 45.8 years (1962 to 1966) via mailed questionnaires. Participants were followed through 1998 for mortality.

The investigators found that, compared to participants who were normotensive at college entry (<120/<80 mm Hg), the multivariate adjusted risk of CHD mortality in men increased across blood pressure categories of pre-hypertension (hazard ratio [HR] for 120 to 139/80 to 89 mm Hg, 1.21), stage 1 (HR for 140 to 159/90 to 99 mm Hg, 1.46), and stage 2 hypertension (HR for ≥160/≥100 mm Hg, HR, 1.89). The estimates were reduced slightly after accounting for middle-age hypertension, but the pattern remained the same. Total and CVD mortality, but not stroke mortality had similar associations.

"Higher measured blood pressure in early adulthood was associated with an elevated risk of total, CVD, and CHD mortality several decades later, which appeared to persist even after accounting for self-reported hypertension in middle age," the authors write.

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