HealthDay News — Despite recent improvements in hypertension awareness, treatment, and control overall, all 3 remain worse in adults aged 18 to 39, according to research published online August 28 in Hypertension.

The study included information from 8 surveys completed sometime between 1999 to 2014 involving 41,331 Americans. The participants answered questions about their awareness of hypertension and its treatment. The findings suggest that just half of 6.7 million young adults with hypertension were treated in 2013 to 2014 in the United States. An even smaller number – 40% – got their blood pressure under control. 

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The researchers found that just 68.4% of young men were aware of hypertension, compared to 86.0% of young women. The gap was also wide in terms of treatment (43.7% for men, 61.3% for women) and control (33.7% for men, 51.8% for women). The investigators also found that young people with hypertension were much more likely to be obese. Seventy-three percent fell in the obesity category compared to 57% of middle-aged people with hypertension and 42% of older people with hypertension. In addition, prehypertension was higher in young men (33.6%) than young women (12.8%).

“There remain important quality gaps in today’s approach to blood pressure control in young adults,” the authors write. “Public health efforts to improve blood pressure control among young adults, particularly men, should focus on raising awareness and improving outreach in medical, worksite, and community settings.”

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