Prehypertension Linked to Calcium in Coronary Arteries in Young Adults

July 15, 2008
News Office: Kristen Bole (415) 476-2556

Young adults age 35 or younger with a low-level elevation in blood pressure, called "Prehypertension," are more likely to have calcium in their coronary arteries later in life, predisposing them to a higher risk of strokes and heart attacks, according to a UCSF study published in the July 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study analyzed blood pressure in 3,560 adults age 18 to 30 over 20 years and measured coronary calcium at the end of the study.

Dr. Mark J. Pletcher, a UCSF internist and epidemiologist who led the research, said the results show that prehypertension before age 35 itself may be harmful, not simply because it is associated with high blood pressure later in life. Prehypertension is classified as systolic blood pressure 120 to 139 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure 80 to 89 mmHg.

See the article in the Annals of Internal Medicine or a news release and video.

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