Although earlier limited to middle-aged or older members of the population, high blood pressure is becoming more common in young adults and teens. Read on to learn why.
- Cases of high blood pressure and cardiovascular complications are increasing exponentially in teens and young adults.
- The issue is primarily due to the lack of health awareness, increased exposure to pollution, and harmful lifestyle choices.
- While it is easier to control in the younger generation, high blood pressure can lead to severe health complications down the line.
The human body is a vulnerable shell that can suffer from various illnesses. Given time, everyone suffers from any disease at some point in their lives.
Although, for most, that comes after a certain age. That’s why it’s surprising to see so many teens and young adults suffering from health complications.
Among those, cases of high blood pressure and cardiovascular complications are rising to alarming levels. According to statistics from the CDC, 1 in 10 children between the ages of 12 and 19 years old suffer from high blood pressure.
If you want to explore the causes and possible treatments for it, this is just the piece you need to read.
What Is Considered High Blood Pressure In Young Adults and Teens?
A healthy individual’s appropriate blood pressure range lies between 120 mm Hg systolic and 80 mm Hg diastolic.
Teens and young adults can have a more active lifestyle, with studies, sports, and other extracurricular activities taking up most of their schedule. That can elevate their blood pressure to an average of 130 mm Hg systolic and 80 mm Hg diastolic.
However, if it goes above those numbers, you can consider it as high blood pressure. Too far along that line and the teen may even experience hypertension.
Different stages of hypertension
Hypertension doesn’t just hit out of nowhere. It occurs in subsequent stages that you can monitor with an early diagnosis.
- Normal Blood Pressure: 120/80 mm Hg
- Elevated Blood Pressure: 130/80 mm Hg
- Stage I Hypertension: 140/90 mm Hg
- Stage II Hypertension: Greater than 140/90 mm Hg
Why Do Teens And Young Adults Have High Blood Pressure?
Several changes in the lives of teens and young adults have led to an epidemic of high blood pressure and hypertension. A few notable ones are mentioned below.
Academic and job pressure
Kids today face plenty of competition from their peers to gain their desired jobs. That calls for excessive efforts in academics and making your resume as desirable as possible. It means most children try to minimize their leisure time to stay ahead of the pack.
Global warming and destabilized climate cycles lead to unfavourable conditions for many children to leave their houses. That can cause their blood pressure to rise as they get more anxious sitting in their house with minimal outlets for their energy.
Increased exposure to toxins
There has been more consumption of drugs and alcohol among the younger populous as they try to cope with the world around them.
Moreover, several communities get exposed to toxic chemicals such as PFAS (Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances) dissolved in water. Those can create issues within the circulatory system.
Increased intake of junk food that contains sodium and fat can cause malfunctions within the arteries, liver and kidneys. It’s also problematic that most kids today don’t take their meals at regular intervals.
Fewer physical interactions
Ever since the pandemic, more teens and young adults have taken to the internet and social media instead of physically interacting with their friends. That adapts them to a more sedentary lifestyle, eventually leading to high blood pressure.
Signs Of High Blood Pressure
You don’t need to attach a blood pressure monitor to a child twice a day to diagnose their health. Several telltale signs tell you when it’s time to pay more attention.
- Lack of sleep or unregulated sleep schedules
- Increased anxiety and nosebleeds
- Frequent headaches that last for longer than a few minutes
- Chest pain and irregular heart rhythms
- Vomiting and nausea without pre-existing health conditions
- Buzzing in ears
- Muscle tremors
How To Treat High Blood Pressure In Teens And Young Adults?
High blood pressure in teens can be treated quickly and efficiently when diagnosed early. You can avoid the financial drain on doctors and medication by making a few lifestyle changes that can benefit them in the long run. A few crucial ones that fit most households are as follows.
Maintain a casual relationship
Having a casual relationship with your ward relieves them of stress. They’re more open to you regarding their personal and professional problems.
When they think of you as a friend in place of a parent, they are more comfortable revealing their test scores and accepting guidance related to their career choices. Furthermore, they are less likely to indulge in unhealthy habits.
Promote a healthy diet
You must provide a healthy diet to your teen as much as possible. If they eat out, they would most likely indulge in fast food that can gradually increase their blood pressure.
Strive to make home meals and healthy food more desirable with a rewards system. For example, you can treat them with their favourite ice cream if they lose 4 pounds.
Inspect their surroundings
Where you spend most of your time determines your long-term health. So, it is best to ensure that the teen or young adult hangs out at a clean and sanitary place.
If you believe they can get exposed to water-soluble toxins, encourage them to carry bottled water with them at all times.
Avail of drug and smoking counselling
If you or anyone you know struggles with a drug or smoking addiction, it helps to seek professional help.
There are affordable counselling stations worldwide where you can explain your situation without repercussions to your privacy. You can also utilize digital portals to hold video sessions and get your reports online.
Increased cases of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular complications in teens and young adults are a massive epidemic in our time.
The first step to minimizing it is to spread awareness about the issue. The more you let them know that help is accessible, the more likely they are to take it. We hope this piece grants you new insights into the issue.
For more information, you can read our robust guide on lowering blood pressure.