1 in 5 young adults has high blood pressure
May 25th, 2011
07:07 PM ET

1 in 5 young adults has high blood pressure

Close to 1 in 5 young adults has high blood pressure, according to a new study, much higher than previous estimates of around 4 percent.

"We wanted to look at the health of young adults in America , and the first thing we looked at was blood pressure," said Kathleen Mullan Harris, a professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and the lead study author. "The prevalence is quite high – 19% – and we found this rather surprising," she said.

Harris and her team have been following more than 14,000 kids since 1995, in an effort to catalog their health from adolesence to adulthood. At their most recent check-in in 2008, she says, is when they discovered the very high rates of hypertension and found that close to 37% were obese.

Harris believes the increase can be attributed largely to the obesity epidemic in America, combined with a diet high in sodium-laden processed foods and very little exercise.

Making matters worse, she says, is that most of the 24-32-year-olds in the study had no idea there was a problem.

"What's especially alarming that among those measured with high blood pressure, only 25% had been told previously that they had high blood pressure," Harris said.

The reason? She believes it's because the so-called "young invincibles" – young people who believe they're too young to have health problems – simply don't see their doctors regularly.

"Young people are thought to be relatively healthy, they're busy building careers and families," she said. "We need to get them to see their doctors, or to check their blood pressure in a drug store, or even in a gym."

The biggest danger, Harris says, though, is that high blood pressure often doesn't have any symptoms.

"This is a sleeping epidemic," she said. "You dont feel any different even though your blood pressure is high, but it's doing permanent damage to your brain, heart, kidneys and your eyes."

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Filed under: Heart • Nutrition • Obesity

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. TampaMel

    The writer of this article attributes the prevalence of High Blood Pressure to obesity. The we get a statistic that 37% were obese. Now to me 37%, while significant, is not a percentage that would lead one to believe it is the obesity problem. I realize an exception does not prove the rule and I am not sure I am an exception but I am 6 foot tall (about 1.8 meters) and weigh about 180 pounds (81.6 kg). This means not only am I not overweight, I am actually a little thinner then the recommended weight for my height. Also, I am a fresh vegetable and salad eater (for the most part) and while I eat meat, it is not done often. I do not eat processed foods. Yet I have high blood pressure. So the question is, if 37% of High Blood Pressure can be traced to weight, what do we attribute the other 63% to?

    May 26, 2011 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ryan

      You can't attribute it to anything. I believe it is the American lifestyle of stress, little time, and not enough walking, too many cars, and too much pollution. Thirty minutes of exercise a day is not enough. You have to exercise all day by just walking and enjoying your time. However, most Americans are slaves to their jobs, mortgage, debt, retirement accounts, and dealing with a society that gives limited opportunities to take care of themselves.

      May 26, 2011 at 07:47 | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      I think they are saying that 37% of ALL participants in the study were obese, not just the ones with high blood pressure.

      May 26, 2011 at 08:26 | Report abuse |
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      My god man. Do you really think that because you have high BP, and are thin, that this means that there's not a link between obesity and high BP?

      It's utterly amazing how irrational and unscientific our society is.

      A world full of ignoramuses ...

      May 26, 2011 at 08:40 | Report abuse |
    • Dontworry

      Those two numbers had nothing to do with each other....

      May 26, 2011 at 08:53 | Report abuse |
    • MBHLfester

      Good God, Nate. Obviously the world is full of jag offs, too. It amazes me how our society rushes to insult others based on conclusions they jump to.

      Mel's just simply asking what is causing the rest of the majority (63%)in the study to have high BP since Mel is not obese. I'm not sure I see the problem there. You need to lighten up, Chief

      May 26, 2011 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
    • Silvance

      You can't judge someone's health by their weight. There are plenty of very healthy people that are considered overweight using the BMI scale, because it's simply their body type. There are also plenty of very unhealthy people that are considered thin. I had high BP in high school, and back then I was eating fairly healthily with lots of breads and whole grains. Today I eat mostly meats and fruits, lots of fat and cholesterol, however both my BP and my cholesterol have dropped drastically since the change in that. Every person's body is different, and trying to find one thing to blame most cases of high BP on will never work.

      May 26, 2011 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Lots of fatties on here think fat is healthy, its not. And you are sucking down all my health care payments with your lifestyle choice. We need to charge higher rates for overweight people, its only fair.

      May 26, 2011 at 10:20 | Report abuse |
    • max in ny

      Nate- I couldn't agree with you more. People in this country are redic. This guy is trying to question the study because he happens to be an exception. Not sure if he's heard of GENETICS before.

      "Now to me 37%, while significant, is not a percentage that would lead one to believe it is the obesity problem"-hahah you know about a third of this country is obese right?

      Maybe this guy should pick up smoking too.

      May 26, 2011 at 10:30 | Report abuse |

      Stress. My mom ( a baby boomer) does not seem to understand why Im always tired and stressed. I think older folks tend to forget the stressors that are put on younger people i.e. college, student loans to pay back, bills, struggling in a failing economy, etc. Not to downplay the problems of her time but us younger people have ALOT on our plates right now. I definitely think wieght plays a part in this but stress should definitely be considered a factor.

      May 26, 2011 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
    • Body Mass Index

      At 6' tall and 180 lbs, you are not thin and actually only ~5 lbs away from being overweight. A good weight for you would be closer to 160 lbs for a mean body mass index in the normal weight range.

      May 26, 2011 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Mel, the only thing left is a sedentary lifestyle. That can cause high blood pressure too, even if you are of a proper weight and eating well.

      May 26, 2011 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      I have to add more. Mel, look at your salad dressing. What's the daily percentage of sodium in it? For people who are sensitive to sodium and prone to high blood pressure, you should get no more than about 20% of your DV of sodium in a given day from ALL of your meals. By cutting out sodium, being much more active and making sure to get potassium, I took high blood pressure and reduced it to low normal. You have to pay attention to you weight (you're not that thin), but more importantly to sodium. It's not the "processed" part of processed foods that create high blood pressure. It's all the salt. Look at every label on everything you buy. If you see more than 10% of your DV of sodium in a serving, don't buy it. Your blood pressure (if you exercise too) will return to normal. Mine did.

      May 26, 2011 at 14:02 | Report abuse |
    • Newo

      it's true, i don't know what the cause of it is, but I'm kinda fat and my bp is ideal; 114/68

      May 26, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      Good old Genetics.....Diet, Inactivity, etc......

      May 26, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse |
  2. mom from michigan

    my son is 18 very athletic, not an ounce of fat on him and he has high blood pressure.

    May 26, 2011 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Me

      If he didn't have an ounce of fat, there would be a big problem and he would look horrible. Maybe you should check and see what he's shooing, snorting, or popping.

      May 26, 2011 at 07:55 | Report abuse |
    • J0nx

      Have you taken a look at the labels on every day food items from the grocery store?? It's appalling the amount of saturated fat and sodium in the most innocuous items that you would never guess. I have to make a SERIOUS concerted effort to avoid a lot of products that I used to buy without a second thought because of it. It really is all but impossible to keep your sodium levels within the FDA limits unless you home cook every single meal yourself with nothing that comes from a box. When you do find a pre-made product that is delicious and good for you then the price is almost always 30% higher than any other similar product to boot. It's a hard battle.

      May 26, 2011 at 09:21 | Report abuse |
    • Frank


      May 26, 2011 at 10:20 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Congratulations on your confirmation bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias). Come back soon!

      May 26, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
  3. Colleen

    I agree with Tampa. I think it's easy to blame the obesity epidemic for all of today's problems. Young people today are under a tremendous amount of stress, and I think that has a great deal to do with the BP issues. Lots of thin friends of mine had BP problems in college.

    May 26, 2011 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Martin

    Genetics plays a huge role in your chances of having high blood pressure. Both my parents have high blood pressure and, as a result, I had a very high chance of having high blood pressure before I turned 30 (I started taking medication for my blood pressure at 29).
    That said, it's also very well known that being overweight or obese increases your chances of having high blood pressure, even among those people without family antecedents.

    May 26, 2011 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Weight Watcher

    TampaMel, 6 foot height and 180 lbs. is over the ideal weight. The recommended weight table you are using is obviously in favor of an overweight figure.

    Your high blood pressure could be due to a combination of several reasons, including the consumption of high sodium salad dressing. Don't use this news article as a strict guideline for your own predicament.

    May 26, 2011 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lj1

      6' & 180lbs doesnt necessarily mean overweight – the BMI or whatever weight tables you're using don't take into account muscle mass. I'm 6'2, 200lbs with 8% body fat, does that mean i'm overweight?

      May 26, 2011 at 08:11 | Report abuse |
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      Actually, lj1 ... yes. You are overweight.

      Maybe you're not pudgy. But, that's not the same thing as not being overweight. The heart can only pump so much blood. The more mass you have, muscle or fat, the harder your heart has to work. Obviously, muscle is better than fat, but being heavy is still a strain on your heart. You can find bodybuilders without a bit of flab on them, that still have problems with cardiovascular fitness.

      Look at all the professional athletes who die early. Being a 6'3" linebacker, at 255 lbs, might be good for stopping running backs, but it's not good for longevity, on average.

      May 26, 2011 at 08:47 | Report abuse |
    • Give me a break

      You are insane. 6 foot 180 is thin. The last time I weighed 180 (I am 6' tall) I looked like a concentration camp prisoner. 180 on one person's frame is not 180 on another's. I wish people would stop relying on the archaic BMI table which has severe limitations.

      May 26, 2011 at 09:41 | Report abuse |
    • lj1

      "The more mass you have, muscle or fat, the harder your heart has to work. Obviously, muscle is better than fat, but being heavy is still a strain on your heart."

      obviously working out would benefit the heart too (it is a muscle afterall)

      and stopping runningbacks might have a strain on your longevity because you're stopping runningbacks, not because you're carrying more muscle.

      May 26, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse |
    • mikoid

      6' – 180 lbs is within the normal range on EVERY BMI chart/calculator that I've ever seen... Having said that, I'm 6' 2" and weigh 195 lbs and I'm supposedly on the cusp of being over weight... My "ideal weight" is supposed to be between approx. 148 lbs and 190 lbs. I'm am trying to lose between 5 and 10 lbs to rid myself of "love handles". But can you imagine a 6' 2" man weighing 148 lbs. My God, I'd be a stick!!

      May 26, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse |
  6. HbgCK21

    Perhaps stress, over consumption of caffiene, sodium, and/or alcohol? All effect BP in conjunction w/ diet, activity level, race, and more...

    May 26, 2011 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. cathleeninnh

    No mention of the role sugar plays in this. Particularly fructose. Young people generally have a diet high in sugar and the consequences can be dangerous.

    May 26, 2011 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Walter

    This is a scary scenario. If that many children have health issues at that age, what will happen as they get older? If you think health care costs are high now, just wait.....

    May 26, 2011 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WWRRD

      YUP, You nailed it, they will fall apart, use lots of expensive meds, have expensive heart scans, and have even more expensive bypass surgeries. All at taxpayers expense. The fix for this is so cheap and easy. Nike knows what it is . JUST DO IT!

      May 26, 2011 at 08:06 | Report abuse |
  9. addictedtocars

    Obesity is only part of the problme, diet and exercise are the bigger issues. The your today are not as active and on top of that eat much more prepared foods which have huge amounts of sodium in them. Over the years my BP had gotten high and all I did was moderate my diet (nothing radical) and s alittle exercise and managed to drop 30 lbs and get pff BP meds after being on them for 7 years. Also a few key supplements help, Niacin, Omega-3 (Fish Oil) helped.

    May 26, 2011 at 07:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. itisweird

    It is very weird. I have high blood pressure. I have changed my diet completely around. i never had high blood pressure when I was young but when I turned 21 it was like things started to spike. My parents have it but none of my siblings have it just me. It is weird. I do everything excersice and eat much fresher and better. Like TampaMel I am a vegetable eating person and very rarely eat meat, and stop eating fried food along time ago. It is weird to me, because other people can eat what ever they want and it does not effect them so suddenly I say. I say it like this I will continue the healthy eating but I am not going to worry myself to death about this. When it is my time it is my time. Medication and everything else falls flat but I continue to keep things going in a healthy manner. I dont think the doctors have answers either. They just prescribe pills and send you on your way.

    May 26, 2011 at 07:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Johnny

      If you truly get a substantial amount of exercise in, it's sodium. No more than 10-20% of your DV in an entire day should be in your food if you want to drop your BP. Stock up on foods rich in potassium too. You can't eat out anymore if you want to stay healthy.

      May 26, 2011 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
  11. WWRRD

    The high BP incidence is primarily due to lack of exercise. Active people, especially young active people generally don't have high BP unless there is some genetic predisposition to have it which accounts for a very small percentage of people. That percentage should largely be static over time. The majority is due to lifestyle. Poor diet and little exercise.

    The high BP may not be the result of obesity but may be related to the obesity trend. There are skinny people that are out of shape that have high BP. Regular exercise would fix 90% of the problem. It is also cheaper than prescription drugs and Obamacare.

    May 26, 2011 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      It's a little off the topic of the article, but I'm kind of tired of simpletons ranting about the "expense" of Obamacare. Who do you think pays for the uninsured already? Partially the people who are insured, partly businesses with sick employees, but mostly, the taxpayers. "Obamacare", which incidentally is the most moronic name ever, since Obama had very little to do with the development of the bill's provisions, is merely an attempt to shift the costs we already have in a way that actually gives people incentive to get preventive care, instead of waiting and getting care in the ER, which is vastly more expensive (and you're already paying for it, Dufus!)

      The phrase, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is an oft-used saying, but it probably applies to health care better than virtually any other context.

      May 26, 2011 at 08:58 | Report abuse |
  12. mark haynes r.i.p.

    The real problem with the story is what blood pressure is considered as high. I have heard blood pressures like 135 over 80 being considered high.

    May 26, 2011 at 08:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Cured Myself

    Doctors Bah. I was diagnosed with high BP three years ago and the doc gave me BP medication that started at a low dosage and more than quadrupled in the three year period. It did very little to help my problem.

    I also exercise regularly and eat very healthy foods. I may be 10 or so pounds overweight. The side effects of the BP meds caused insomnia and fibromyalgia like pain all the time. Got sick of meds and stopped cold turkey against the advise of my doc.
    I did some research on possible herbal remedies that were supposed to help. I now take 300mg of CO enzyme Q10 daily along with omega three supplements. My BP, within a month of starting the supplements had gone from 150/90 average to 115/60 average.

    I think the moral of the story is that our food today is very poor quality and we just are not getting enough of the nutrients our bodies need even when we are eating "the right stuff". Hopefully this helps some of you...

    May 26, 2011 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Brice

    It's stress!!! I know it is! I am overweight, yet I was at a healthy blood pressure to give blood. 5 months later, after a very, very hard break-up and my job, I was at stage 2 hypertension. And I've been developing white hairs, not gray but pure white hairs, I know its stress that's bringing me down, I know I'm overweight, but I work my butt off at work and at everything I do, but I know that the stress of everything is killing me silently. The lifestyle we as American's live is more stressful as ever...it's not because of our situation, but how fast information is given to us. We now have the world at our fingertips, so much information is killing us all. Even when it comes to communication, we are losing everything, I'm not surprised about the numbers the study found, but like most of you, the study doesn't really work. Although I am heavy, I am at the same weight I was when I was able to donate blood, but after all the crap that happened to me in the last 6 months, I can't give blood because I am too stressed out!

    May 26, 2011 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Dr Seymour Merrit

    Everyone should see the movie " Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead ".
    The cure is so easy – but we are too lazy and stupid in the is country.

    May 26, 2011 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A.N.Hudson

      If some of you could stop judging and start working together and stop working against one another, then maybe we could fix all of these problems, especially if we could stop the negativity and finger pointing and wake up to the real problem which is inside of you. If you feel the need to judge an innocent person b/c you don't like something about them, then stop and realize that whatever fault you see in them is being mirrored back at you by God to show you that you too share this fault and by looking at yourself you can learn that we are all one and we have to work together or against each other, but the choice is all yours and that is our gift from God (choice) but one way or the other we all dictate our own individual fate. Stop judging and start loving. You can dislike someone's action's or fault's but that doesn't mean you can judge and present yourself superior. If you choose to ignore this, then I shall pray for your soul and the coming of love into your heart. Peace and Love to all of God's creation's.

      June 7, 2011 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
    • A.N.Hudson

      I'll pray for you! I am now sending you light and love through the Universe. I hope it reaches you.

      June 7, 2011 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
  16. Gary

    Every day we are bombarded with advertising this food that food. The other day I noticed in a span of 5 minutes commercials for Taco Bell, Wendy's, Pizza, etc. I mean we are constantly getting hit with eat this eat that. All of it high in sodium and other crap. It makes it rather difficult in this current economy and lifestyle we live in sometimes to not just take the easy route and get something pre-made. Personally I try to eat as little pre-made stuff as possible.

    May 26, 2011 at 08:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. MJ

    What they don't mention is that the medical community has lowered the numbers on what is considered high blood pressure so now more people have it. They said it was to catch and treat it earlier – but the reality is that the more people they tell that they have HBP then the more people who are taking medicine and making the pharmaceuticals rich and the more people who are going to the doctor each year. It's all about the money. What used to be normal 120/80 is now almost high.

    May 26, 2011 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ser

      that is a pretty interesting observation...I likey

      May 26, 2011 at 12:30 | Report abuse |
  18. svann

    Maybe 10 hour days and 60 hour weeks have something to do with it?

    May 26, 2011 at 08:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. APJ

    The main point of the article is that trends exist, if we can see a corralary then why not use that information to help the general populous. Of course there are outliers and people who do not fall into the majority. I have a family history of cardio vascular disease as both grandfathers died at an early age from heart attacks and my mother has high blood pressure for years now. In addition I was previously obese and ate horrible foods. However now I weigh 155 lbs at 5'9 and eat in moderation but still eat what I enjoy and my blood pressure is a reliable 105 over 60 – low normal range. My family history and personal history along with my salt intake would seem to indicate I should have high blood pressure, but I dont – some people just dont conform, it doesnt mean we should just shrug off trends...

    May 26, 2011 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. treesgreen

    Another factor for some young women with high BP can be birth control pills. I was diagnosed with hypertension in my mid-twenties and put on medication. I later stopped taking birth control pills with estrogen and my hypertension went away. I know this is not the case with all hypertensive young women, but I wish someone had mentioned the connection with BCPs to me when the hypertension first showed up.

    May 26, 2011 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. TommyPickles

    I think many of you are missing the point. Everyone keeps saying 'kids today aren't AS active'...really? Well how much exercise was our parents getting a few decades ago? I can almost bet there hasn't been a significant drop from then until now. I think as a society our diets are a big factor as we are consuming a lot more processed foods (one issue). And secondly STRESS. STRESS will KILL YOU and there is so much pressure for young people to succeed; and there arent very many alternatives outside of college as 'back in the day'. This economy is KILLING US

    May 26, 2011 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lols finnisher

      >STRESS will KILL YOU
      says the person using CAPSLOCK on cnn

      May 26, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
  22. Jane

    High blood pressure is linked to increased levels of insulin circulating in the blood, which is directly linked to excessive carbohydrate intake from foods like soda, chips, pasta. This does not mean everyone is diabetic, but the body can only handle the high sugar/carb intake for so long before it wears out its ability to compensate. The increased insulin levels result in higher fluid retention and higher blood pressures. For most people a diet based on lean protein, vegetables and fruit would naturally fix the problem. Ditch the breads, cereals and pastas. The problem is that good quality meat is expensive and it takes time to prepare food. It is easier to grab a cheap burger, fries and a soda off the dollar menu and that is the worst type of food to eat not because of fat and calories, but because of the carb content. the marketing people tell us to eat more whole grains, but they bury the whole grain in sugary "nutrition" bars. They tell us to eat low fat, but they replace the fat with carbs which just raises our blood sugar and makes us fatter. Maybe we need some marketing promoting simple vegetables and a whole lot less Frito Lay and PepsiCola.

    May 26, 2011 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • abbyful

      Here here! Paleo is the way to go. Cut the sugar & grain-based carbs. Eat a peice of meat (if red meat, go with grass-fed), poultry, or fish about the size of your fist, then fill the rest of your plate with plenty of vegetables. And exercise.

      May 26, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
  23. GPS

    You know what hypertention and cholosterol and other obesity diseases are on the rise and for one reason. What you teach children when they are young they mimick as adults!! stop shoving s*** food down there throats make a decent meal for them and they will mimick that later on in life. the fork doesnt make you fat nor does a knife make you kill! if they think this is bad just wait. The family dynamic is breaking down in this country and its causing all these obesity problems becuase parents rather sit their kids down in front of the tv with fast food then cook them a good meal. The time effort is irrelevant beacuse i know a plenty of single mothers and fathers who ake care of their children the right way. This article is just showing of whats left to come. its not a sleeping epidemic its a an ignored epidemic. Im sorry this sounds like a rant but it did not come up all of a sudden, it wass there the whole time being ignored.

    May 26, 2011 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Zach

    I'm 23, walk 7+ miles each day in my job.. and I think I'm going to have McDonalds for lunch today.

    May 26, 2011 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. MikeGCNY

    I am 29, almost 30, and I am aware that I have high BP. However, at 6'5", 215 lbs, and a resonably well toned frame, it isn't an obesity or a sodium problem as all my numbers a normal, and a BMI of 25.5 (ridiculous in my opinion because of my high Lean Body Mass) and 8% body fat. My problem is waking up before 6 AM and needing a large coffee. Yesterday was a rare day where I didn't have time for my caffienated jump start. When I was 16 my BP was 110/65. With Caffiene I have 135/80, with out it 118/75.

    May 26, 2011 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Your mom

    Yeah, I'm a little fat. So what?

    May 26, 2011 at 09:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. milly91

    I am a 19 year old who has had high blood pressure for the past two years. I have always maintained a steady body mass index that did not reach overweight status. While I agree with prior statements about teens having more stress than their counterparts years ago, I have maintained high blood pressure during the school year as well as the summer and it has been very high (160/100).

    May 26, 2011 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Furious Styles

    Lay off the high salt and high sodium processed foods. Stay away from Ramen Noodles (1,600 milligrams of sodium). Frozen pizza should be avoided as well as most brands have over 1200 milligrams of sodium. Obese or skinny, you'll surely end up with high blood pressure eating either of these.

    May 26, 2011 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. J-Ho

    All I read in these posts are people caring only for themselves (or their family member). Guess what, you can still be unhealthy even if you are 6 ft, 180 lbs. What your weight is does not necessarily equal your overall healthiness. I read this article and I see parents who didn't care what their child ate. I see parents who never think their child is overweight. I see parents who think their child is perfect. I see exceptions to the rule. Fact: 37% of young adults are OBESE. Fact: 20% of young adults have high blood pressure. Stress is a big factor, but reducing stress doesn't lower the numbers enough to overcome the high amounts of salt and fat we take in every day. Read your food labels. Don't live out of boxed dinners. Don't live off of fast food and pizza. Don't drink soft drinks. Exercise. Get over it, your not exceptional, no matter what everyone tells you.

    May 26, 2011 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Mrs. Late Bloomer

    I developed high blood pressure when I was in my early 20's. Interestingly enough it had nothing to do with my weight as I have always been underweight @ 5'8" and 115lbs. It was strictly stress related as I ate well and exercised. Not everything fits into a neat little category.

    May 26, 2011 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Perry

    I'm not surprised at all. We live in a hyper paced, dog eat dog culture where stress is the norm and vacation is a fantasy that few can afford. I dont have kids myself but I cant imagine trying to cook 3 square meals a day on top of working 50-60 hours per week. We need to stop worshiping money and "success" and just enjoy life more.

    May 26, 2011 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GPS

      Amen. Although it is a faster paced world. plenty of other cultures and societies work just as hard and the family dynamic is still there. and you said it " I cant imagine trying to cook 3 square meals a day on top of working 50-60 hours per week". and your right. but thats the problem people dont do anymore they just imagine. its not a slight on you. its just with all this rat race we live we are killing OURSELVES~! take a breath sometimes. PEOPLE NEED TO LEARN TO LOVE LIFE MORE AND LIVE IT RATHER THAN HATING LIFE LIVING YOU!!!!

      May 26, 2011 at 10:34 | Report abuse |
  32. Ed

    I never had high BP until i hit my 40s. I now fluctuate between 110 to 130 over 80ish. I run a mile each day and then 15 minutes of cardio bike. It depends on whats going on in my life at the time. I think it is mostly due to my job. I really wish I had a job where I could move around more. I feel much better when I actually am outside and able to breathe and move.

    I worked hard to be promoted. I am now a bit disappointed in where I am. I have lots of money but I am almost always anxious. Its very tough for me to relax. I was sold a bill of goods that said this is where you want ito be and when I got there the view wasn't good for me at all!

    May 26, 2011 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. sheikyerboutie

    Half the young adults I know suck down the Redbulls and other caffinated beverages. I'm sure that doesnt help

    May 26, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. DRTSAT

    There are many good points made in the comments here and in the Article. I do take issue with them attributing it to an Obesity Problem. I was diagnosed HBP when I was 27 and put on medication for it. I'm 39 now. I'm also in the military. I run, exercise and I still have HBP. What I found, and I agree with the person who commented on this, is that when I'm away from the job and/or any stress, my BP drops without medication. Part of it is genetics and part is stress but not all of it is obesity.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. minnesota guy

    I am 5'11" 131# and people say I am too thin- but I feel great. I really hate being really full- especially before bed. Chips/bread/ bread-like products make my crabby and tired.

    May 26, 2011 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. fmw

    Is it possible that the definition of "High Blood Pressure" is wrong?

    May 26, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. abbyful

    My company gives us extra benefits if we go to the yearly health screening. I'm 28/female, my blood pressure as of last week was 96/68. So thankfully I'm not in the 20%.

    May 26, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Bad Patient

    The way research is done in this country and interpreted is extremely misleading. Personally, i would cut the corn and corn derivatives out of my diet (go to cornallergens (dot) com and look at all of the words that are corn and there are more...even vitamin C). seems to be a problem on the allergy route...retains fluid. highly likely that your blood pressure will drop to normal. no need to get rid of the salt. we need salt. (salt is more of a too much or not enough problem. obviously too much, or too little is a problem) then balance your protein and carbs.

    May 26, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Karen

    My daughter is 24 years old and is having problems with her bp, it's about 140/90. She is very fit and eats pretty healthy but, has a stressful job. My bp has always been low. Could the job be the biggest factor?

    September 19, 2011 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. do it yourself

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody having the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    August 2, 2012 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Karl

    I'm a 21 year old male. 6 ft. I weigh 135. My blood pressure regularly reads 140/90 in a very relaxed state. I consume a very low sodium, low fat diet. I regularly cook with garlic, and I walk an average of 3 miles commute to and from work, I work standing fir 8 hours at a time, and my job is physically demanding. I have a friend who is well overweight and lives a lifestyle that disregards any health and well-being. His blood pressure is phenomenal. Blood pressure problems do not run in my family. Doctors never address my blood pressure concerns due to my being so skinny and athletic. Perhaps labeling it an obese disease is detrimental to those who are ignored by physicians due to a healthy BMI?

    March 8, 2015 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.