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Even Slightly Elevated BP May Pose Problems for Young Adults

Treatment should begin early to prevent cardiac dysfunction, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults with even slightly elevated blood pressure may be at risk of cardiac dysfunction later in life, according to a new study published in the June 30 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers followed 2,479 men and women over the course of 25 years. They were between 18 and 30 years old when the study began. During the study period, researchers looked at the participants' health seven times. Part of their evaluations included blood pressure readings. Towards the end of the study, the researchers also performed cardiac imaging tests.

The researchers found that participants who had slightly elevated blood pressure that was still considered within normal range when they were between 18 and 30 years old were more likely to have problems with their left ventricle once they reached middle age.

"Our findings provide further support for the importance of good risk factor control early in life," lead author João Lima, M.D., from the cardiology division at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a journal news release. "Many participants were not hypertensive at the beginning of the study; however, chronic exposure to higher blood pressure, even within what is considered the normal range, is associated with cardiac dysfunction 25 years later."

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