SINGAPOREAN MEN AGED 40+ MAY HAVE HEART FUNCTION OF 75 YEAR OLD

Young adults with blood pressure near the high end of the “normal blood pressure” range might need to start watching what they eat, exercise and take medication.

According to a new US study, patients whose blood pressure fall below 140/90 – the benchmark for a diagnosis for hyperextension – still face significant risk of heart failure if their blood pressure is on the high end of 130/80.

The top number, or systolic pressure, measures the force from the heart as it contracts; the bottom diastolic number measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes between contractions. Desired blood pressure is less than 130/80 and a person with a reading that tops 140/90 is considered to have hypertension.

The study of 2,479 young adults over a 25-year period was published this week in the Journal Of The American College Of Cardiology.

“A number of patients in our study had high-normal blood pressure in their 20s and 30s, but by the time they were 45, they had the heart function of a 75-year-old,” said the study’s principal investigatr Professor Joao Lima of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The study suggested that “long-term blood pressure control in early young adulthood may be important to prevent coronary heart disease”.

Cardiologists in Singapore were not surprised by the findings, saying that hypertension is a known major risk factor for heart problems.

They said it was expected that damage to the heart increases as blood pressure goes up.

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