advertisement
11 July 2012

Teen lifestyles affect their blood pressure

Teen girls who use birth control pills and teen boys who drink alcohol are at increased risk for elevated blood pressure, according to a new study.

0

Teen girls who use birth control pills and teen boys who drink alcohol are at increased risk for elevated blood pressure, according to a new study.

The risk is also greater among teens of both sexes who have a high salt intake and those with a higher body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of body fat based on weight and height. High blood pressure (hypertension) increases the chances of heart disease and stroke.

How the study was done

Researchers looked at blood pressure, alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity levels, prescription medicine use and eating habits among nearly 1 800 teens in Australia.

About 24% of the teens had pre-hypertension or hypertension, including 34% of those who were overweight and 38% of those who were obese.

Average systolic blood pressure (top number in a reading) among boys in the study was 9 mmHg higher than in girls in general. Among boys, systolic blood pressure was significantly associated with salt intake, alcohol consumption and BMI.

Regular physical activity was associated with lower diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure.

The use of birth control pills was significantly associated with higher blood pressure in girls. The average systolic blood pressure of girls who used birth control pills was 3.3 mmHg higher than in those who didn't use this form of contraception, and blood pressure was even higher in girls who used birth control pills and also had higher BMI readings.

Alcohol consumption did not affect blood pressure in girls, according to the study, which was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

What the study found

The major differences in blood pressure found between teens with healthy and less healthy lifestyles could have a significant impact on their risk for heart disease and stroke in adulthood, the researchers said.

"Adolescents need to be aware that a lifestyle which predisposes to fatness, high salt intake and alcohol consumption may lead to adverse health consequences in adult life. The effects are additive and already associated with hypertension. Moreover, teenage girls taking oral contraceptives should be advised about regular blood pressure monitoring," study author Dr. Chi Le-Ha, of the Royal Perth Hospital, said.

Read more:
Teen drinkers feel like outcasts

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about high blood pressure.


(Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

TeenNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Dangerous winter sun »

Why female students ignore the risks of indoor tanning Can rooibos protect you from the effects of UVB exposure?

Skin cancer always a risk – even in winter

During winter, the risk of skin cancer doesn’t disappear. CyberDoc talks to us about when to see your doctor about a strange-looking mole or spot.

Did you know? »

The 5 saltiest foods may surprise you Craving salt? Your genes may be the reason

10 fascinating facts about salt

The one thing that fast foods, whether it be chips, hamburgers, pretzels or fried chicken have in common, is loads of salt.