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Vol 9, No 2 (2014)
Young Cardiology
Published online: 2014-06-26
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Factors predisposing to the occurrence of hypertension in a population of young adults

Iwona Gorczyca-Michta, Joanna Kucfir, Beata Wożakowska-Kapłon
Folia Cardiologica 2014;9(2):127-134.

open access

Vol 9, No 2 (2014)
Young Cardiology
Published online: 2014-06-26

Abstract

Introduction. Hypertension (HTN) is a major cardiovascular risk factor and a major cause of mortality worldwide. HTN is increasingly commonly diagnosed in young adults. The aim of this study was to evaluate prevalence of HTN in young adults and to identify factors predisposing to the development of HTN.

Material and methods. We studied 203 university students aged 19–25 years who resided in a student dormitory. Four home blood pressure (BP) measurements were performed in all subjects according to the Polish Society of Hypertension guidelines. HTN was defined as mean systolic BP ≥ 135 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP ≥ 85 mm Hg or a history of HTN.

Results. The mean age in our study group was 21.4 ± 1.4 years, and women were 54.2% of 203 subjects (n = 110). The study group was divided into subjects with the diagnosis of HTN (HTN(+), 49 subjects (24.1%)] and subjects without the diagnosis of HTN [HTN(–), 154 subjects (75.9%)]. A systolic-diastolic HTN was found in 25 subjects (51% of those withHTN), isolated diastolic HTN in 22 subjects (44.9% of those with HTN), and isolated systolic HTN in two subjects (4.1% of those with HTN). Excessive body weight was found in 34 subjects (69.4%) with HTN and 35 subjects (22.7%) with normal BP (p < 0.0001). Using salt during meal preparation was reported by 47 subjects (95.9%) in the HTN(+) group and 94 subjects (61%) in the HTN(–) group (p < 0.0001). Current smoking was reported by 30 subjects (61.2%) with HTN and 112 subjects (72.7%) with normal BP (p = 0.1768). Systematic physical activity was reported by 11 subjects (22.4%) in the HTN(+) group and 82 subjects (53.2%) in the HTN(–) group (p = 0.0003). Multivariate analysis showed that the risk of HTN was increased by using salt during meal preparation [odds ratio (OR) 22.5], positive family history (OR 11.5), elimination of fruits and vegetables from the diet (OR 8), and abdominal obesity (OR 8).

Conclusions. Hypertension was found in one fourth of the studied subjects aged 19–25 years, and isolated diastolic HTN was present in half of them. A disturbingly high proportion of smokers was found in our study group of young subjects. Subjects with HTN were older, more frequently overweight or obese, and had more abdominal obesity compared to those with normal BP. Subjects with HTN more frequently reported complete elimination of vegetables, fruits, and fish from their diet, and more frequently reported no participation in sports compared to those without HTN, while normotensives more frequently reported not consuming any fast-food, salty snacks, and sweetened beverages compared to subjects with HTN. Factors increasing the risk of HTN included using salt during meal preparation, positive family history of cardiovascular disease, elimination of fruits and vegetables from the diet, and abdominal obesity. Knowledge regarding recommended physical activity and daily intake of fruits and vegetables was associated with a decreased risk of HTN among young adults.

Abstract

Introduction. Hypertension (HTN) is a major cardiovascular risk factor and a major cause of mortality worldwide. HTN is increasingly commonly diagnosed in young adults. The aim of this study was to evaluate prevalence of HTN in young adults and to identify factors predisposing to the development of HTN.

Material and methods. We studied 203 university students aged 19–25 years who resided in a student dormitory. Four home blood pressure (BP) measurements were performed in all subjects according to the Polish Society of Hypertension guidelines. HTN was defined as mean systolic BP ≥ 135 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP ≥ 85 mm Hg or a history of HTN.

Results. The mean age in our study group was 21.4 ± 1.4 years, and women were 54.2% of 203 subjects (n = 110). The study group was divided into subjects with the diagnosis of HTN (HTN(+), 49 subjects (24.1%)] and subjects without the diagnosis of HTN [HTN(–), 154 subjects (75.9%)]. A systolic-diastolic HTN was found in 25 subjects (51% of those withHTN), isolated diastolic HTN in 22 subjects (44.9% of those with HTN), and isolated systolic HTN in two subjects (4.1% of those with HTN). Excessive body weight was found in 34 subjects (69.4%) with HTN and 35 subjects (22.7%) with normal BP (p < 0.0001). Using salt during meal preparation was reported by 47 subjects (95.9%) in the HTN(+) group and 94 subjects (61%) in the HTN(–) group (p < 0.0001). Current smoking was reported by 30 subjects (61.2%) with HTN and 112 subjects (72.7%) with normal BP (p = 0.1768). Systematic physical activity was reported by 11 subjects (22.4%) in the HTN(+) group and 82 subjects (53.2%) in the HTN(–) group (p = 0.0003). Multivariate analysis showed that the risk of HTN was increased by using salt during meal preparation [odds ratio (OR) 22.5], positive family history (OR 11.5), elimination of fruits and vegetables from the diet (OR 8), and abdominal obesity (OR 8).

Conclusions. Hypertension was found in one fourth of the studied subjects aged 19–25 years, and isolated diastolic HTN was present in half of them. A disturbingly high proportion of smokers was found in our study group of young subjects. Subjects with HTN were older, more frequently overweight or obese, and had more abdominal obesity compared to those with normal BP. Subjects with HTN more frequently reported complete elimination of vegetables, fruits, and fish from their diet, and more frequently reported no participation in sports compared to those without HTN, while normotensives more frequently reported not consuming any fast-food, salty snacks, and sweetened beverages compared to subjects with HTN. Factors increasing the risk of HTN included using salt during meal preparation, positive family history of cardiovascular disease, elimination of fruits and vegetables from the diet, and abdominal obesity. Knowledge regarding recommended physical activity and daily intake of fruits and vegetables was associated with a decreased risk of HTN among young adults.

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Keywords

hypertension, young adults, smoking

About this article
Title

Factors predisposing to the occurrence of hypertension in a population of young adults

Journal

Folia Cardiologica

Issue

Vol 9, No 2 (2014)

Pages

127-134

Published online

2014-06-26

Bibliographic record

Folia Cardiologica 2014;9(2):127-134.

Keywords

hypertension
young adults
smoking

Authors

Iwona Gorczyca-Michta
Joanna Kucfir
Beata Wożakowska-Kapłon

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