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Study shows elevated blood pressure at age 18 raises heart disease risk

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Medical professionals have been spreading the word about the causes of heart disease for years, but a new study shows the warnings signs many be detectable as early as age 18. According to an article published by Fox News on Feb. 5, consistently elevated blood pressure starting at age 18 significantly increases risk for heart disease.

Fox News reports Northwestern Medicine conducted a study on 4,681 people ranging in age from 18 to 25 years old for 25 years. The study revealed five blood pressure patterns including people with consistently low blood pressure (105/65 mmHg), consistently moderate blood pressure (110/65 to 68 mmHg), moderate blood pressure levels that increased to prehypertension levels (140/90 mmHg), consistently elevated blood pressure (around (140/90 mmHg), and elevated blood pressure that increased with age (up to 150/90mmHg).

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, says that participants with consistently elevated blood pressure were four times more likely to develop hardened arteries and cardiovascular disease by age 50.

The author of the study, Norrina Allen says this study shows having elevated blood pressure for an extended period of time puts “strain on your heart, it’s that cumulative effect.”

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