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FRIDAY, Sept. 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Young adults with elevated blood pressure have increased risk of subsequent cardiovascular events, according to a meta-analysis published online Sept. 9 in The BMJ.

Dongling Luo, from the Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the future risk of cardiovascular events in young adults (aged 18 to 45 years) with high blood pressure. Data were included from 17 observational cohorts with about 4.5 million young adults who were followed for an average of 14.7 years.

The researchers found that compared to those with optimal blood pressure, young adults with normal blood pressure had increased risk of cardiovascular events (relative risk, 1.19; risk difference, 0.37 per 1,000 person-years). There was a graded, progressive association seen between categories of blood pressure with increased risk of cardiovascular events (high normal blood pressure: relative risk, 1.35; grade 1 hypertension: relative risk, 1.92; grade 2 hypertension: relative risk, 3.15). For coronary heart disease and stroke, the results were similar. The population attributable fraction was 23.8 percent for cardiovascular events associated with elevated blood pressure. To prevent one cardiovascular event, the number needed to treat for one year was 2,672, 1,450, 552, and 236 for participants with normal blood pressure, high normal blood pressure, grade 1 hypertension, and grade 2 hypertension, respectively.

“The difference in absolute risk above normal blood pressure in comparison to optimal blood pressure was persistent and should not be ignored,” the authors write.

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