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Parental Hypertension Predicts Hypertension in Men

Long-term study of former medical students shows significantly elevated risk throughout life

TUESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- In men, parental hypertension is an independent risk factor for the development of incident hypertension throughout their adult lives, researchers report in the March 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Nae-Yuh Wang, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal cohort study of 1,160 white male former medical students who were followed for a mean of 54 years.

After adjusting for other factors, the researchers found that men with hypertension were significantly more likely to have had a hypertensive mother, father or both (hazard ratios 1.5, 1.8 and 2.4, respectively) compared to men whose mothers and fathers didn't develop hypertension. The investigators also found that men whose mothers and fathers developed hypertension before age 55 had a 6.2-fold higher lifetime adjusted risk of developing hypertension and a 20-fold higher adjusted risk of developing hypertension by age 35.

"Our findings emphasize the importance of asking patients about parental hypertension to identify those who are at high risk of developing hypertension, especially at a young age, for both population-based and individual-level interventions," the authors conclude. "They also underscore the importance of primary prevention and blood pressure monitoring early in life in men with parental hypertension, especially those who have a parent with early-onset hypertension."

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