Blood Pressure: Like Parent, Like Child

High blood pressure risk higher for adult children of parents with hypertension when diagnosed before age 55

(RxWiki News) If your parents were diagnosed with high blood pressure before the age of 55, it could mean you have a higher risk of having it, too, a new study found.

This study, conducted by Framingham Heart Study researchers, found that adult children of parents who were diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension) before the age of 55 faced an increased risk of hypertension than if their parents had been diagnosed at a later age. 

These researchers produced these findings by looking at the health records of more than 1,600 adult children — 32 years old on average — who did not have hypertension at the start of the study. They divided the patients into four groups: those with no parents with hypertension, those with one or more parents with late-onset hypertension, those with one parent with early-onset hypertension and those with two parents with early-onset hypertension.

The patients in the last group were the most likely to develop hypertension, these researchers found. In other words, those whose both parents had early-onset hypertension were the most likely to develop hypertension. 

The risk for hypertension increased with each group. Those in group one had the lowest risk while those in the last group had the highest risk. 

High blood pressure can be a serious health problem, potentially leading to kidney failure or stroke. Talk to your doctor about how to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

This study was presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2016. Research presented at conferences may not have been peer-reviewed.

Information about funding sources and potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

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Review Date: 
November 22, 2016