People who develop high blood pressure before age 40 have a higher risk of heart disease and strokes in middle age, two new studies suggest.
One of the studies followed 4,800 young adults in the U.S. and found elevated blood pressure before age 40 associated with up to 3.5 times greater risk of heart disease and strokes over about 19 years of follow-up.
The second study examined data on almost 2.5 million young adults in South Korea over a decade and also found high blood pressure before age 40 was linked to greater risk of heart disease and strokes. Women in this study had up to a 76 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease, while for men the risk was 85 percent higher, compared to peers with normal blood pressure.
“Elevated blood pressure in early adulthood can result in heart attacks by several mechanisms, and these levels of blood pressure may progress to higher levels over time,” said Ramachandran S. Vasan of the schools of medicine and public health at Boston University.
“They are often associated with . . . other risk factors (such as excess weight, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and smoking) that synergistically elevate heart attack and stroke risk,” Vasan, author of an accompanying editorial, said by email. “They may promote damage to target organs including heart and arteries, thickening of the arterial walls and build up of cholesterol deposits/plaques in arteries, thereby creating a substrate (‘soil’, if you will) for future heart attacks and strokes.”
For the studies, both published in JAMA, researchers assessed high blood pressure using new, more aggressive target levels recommended by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology in 2017. The new recommendations were based on emerging evidence suggesting that even slightly elevated blood pressure early in life might be a precursor to cardiovascular disease as people age.
Patients were classified as having hypertension when the “top number,” or systolic pressure (reflecting the pressure against artery walls when the heart beats), averaged at least 130 mmHG (millimeters of mercury).
They were also considered to have hypertension if the “bottom number,” or diastolic pressure (reflecting pressure against artery walls when the heart rests between beats), averaged at least 80 mmHG.
Before the new recommendations in 2017, people were not diagnosed with high blood pressure until they had measurements of 140/90 mmHG or higher.
Not all doctors have been treating patients using the new, more aggressive blood pressure target, in part out of concern that long-term use of medications to lower blood pressure might have side effects, such as diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea or vomiting or mood disorders.
While young adults with high blood pressure should consider the potential for medication side effects, they may be able to manage their blood pressure with lifestyle changes like eating better or exercising more and they should discuss these options with their doctor, said the senior author of the Korean study, Dr. Sang Min Park of Seoul National University Hospital.
“We have shown that hypertension even at a young age may be associated with higher risk for heart attacks or strokes,” Park said by email. “Therefore, young adults with hypertension should have their blood pressure monitored on a regular basis and manage their blood pressure levels by lifestyle changes or medications.”
Lifestyle changes are not only beneficial in reducing blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk but could also lead to improved physical and mental health, Park noted.
Neither study looked at whether aggressive blood pressure treatment might stop people from developing heart disease or dying from it.
But the results still suggest that treating blood pressure more aggressively at a younger age might help minimize the risk of premature heart problems later in life, said the U.S.-based study’s lead author Dr. Yuichiro Yano of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
“Our study is among the first to report that people younger than age 40 who have elevated blood pressure or hypertension are at increased risk of heart failure, strokes and blood vessel blockages as they age,” Yano said by email.
These Nutritious Breakfasts Can Give A Kick Start To Your Day: Do Try Them!
Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. It is the meal which kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn calories throughout the day. Not only is it important for people who are trying to lose weight, it is simply important for a person to stay fit and healthy. Breakfast is the one meal which can give you the energy to do things and focus at your work and school. WebMD says that including breakfast in your diet can have positive effects on your memory and concentration.
Following are some breakfast options suggested by Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra, which can give a boost your energy and also keep you warm during the chilly winter months.
Try these healthy breakfast options right now!
1. Stuffed rotis
Winter is the time when a variety of vegetables are in season. Stuffed rotis or paranthas made from methi (fenugreek), mooli (radish), gobi (cauliflower), matar (peas) or gajar (carrots) can all make for a delicious and wholesome winter breakfast. You can cook them with ghee (make sure you use it in the right quantity) and eat them with pickle and curd. Stuffed rotis are essentially the traditional Indian breakfast which people have been having for years. Prepare them as your grandmother used to prepare and enjoy them throughout winter.
2. Palak or beetroot roti with mint raita
Palak or spinach is a leafy geen veggie with more health benefits than you can count in your fingers. Similar is the case with beetroot, which is a root vegetable which is incredibly low in calories and is a great source of essential nutrients like fibre, folate and Vitamin C. Beetroot also contains nitrates and pigments which can help in controlling your blood pressure and may improve your overall athletic performance.
3. Egg parantha or scrambled eggs with chapati
Now that is a protein-rich breakfast which can help you keep full for longer. Prepare egg paranthas or eat scrambled eggs with roti for the perfect blend of protein, fat and carbs in your breakfast. Also, do not separate the yolk from egg white. A whole egg will provide you with all essential nutrients.
4. Bajra roti with beetroot raita/bajra khichdi
Bajra is a healthy grain which can be included a weight loss diet as well. You can either make a dough of bajra flour or prepare bajra khichdi as a healthy breakfast option. Bajra or millets has properties that can help in stabilising cholesterol levels in the body. Being rich in fibre, the grain is great for digestion and makes for a healthy breakfast option during winter.
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
5 Super Healthy And Warm Drinks To Keep You Hydrated During Winter
Are the teas and coffees failing to keep you warm during the chilly winter? Then need not worry as we are right here with multiple options for warm and comforting drinks during winter. Warm drinking options are important to keep you hydrated during winter. Staying hydrated during summer seems to be way easier as cold and healthy drinks are aplenty. The easiest way to stay hydrated during summer is to simply gulp down a bottle of water. But in winter, the body is usually in need of something which keeps us warm and on-the-go. Keep reading if you want some alternative warm drinks instead of sipping on a third our fourth cup of coffee.
Drinks to keep you warm and hydrated during winter
Well, this is nothing but our very own haldi doodh. It is the traditional drink which is taken when a person is suffering from cold or fever. It is a healing drink which can naturally detox your body and even strengthen your bones.
Ginger, honey, lemon tea:
Yes, this is another traditional drink which can be taken in warm form as well. You can create a tea concoction by adding ginger, honey and lemon to water and bring to a boil. It can make for a refreshing and warming drink during the chilly winter months.
Hot mulled cider:
All you need to do is add cardamom, peppercorns, star anise, ginger, lemon and cloves to apple cider vinegar. Add a tinge of all these ingredients in a cup of ACV and heat it in low flame. The drink is going to make for a flavourful companion to you and your favourite book by the fireplace.
Vegetable/chicken/bone broth or soup:
Soups or broths are filling and extremely warming during the cold winter months. You can either prepare steaming hot vegetable soup or broth or chicken soup or bone breath. Broths and soups are fluids which can help you hydrated during winter while also boosting your immunity and protecting your from catching a cold or infection. Just make sure that their preparation is light and healthy.
Now this is a toasty treat you all have been craving! All you need is some warm milk, cinnamon, vanilla and some almonds. This velvety winter drink is going to be your all time favourite! What’s more is that you can prepare it beforehand and have it when you’re ready for a warm treat for yourself.
Fasting can improve overall health, study suggests
Fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation.
Fasting can lead to improved health and provide protection against ageing-associated diseases, a recent study suggests.
According to the research, fasting affects circadian clocks in the liver and skeletal muscle, causing them to rewire their metabolism, which can ultimately lead to improved health and protection against ageing-associated diseases. The study was published recently in Cell Reports.
The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment. And, while food is known to influence clocks in peripheral tissues, it was unclear, until now, how the lack of food influences clock function and ultimately affects the body.
“We discovered fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation,” said lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi.
“Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” Paolo asserted.
According to the researchers, fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses. Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against ageing-associated diseases.