High Blood Pressure (BP) in young population has emerged as the most important risk factor for global disease burden in India. As per ICMR study in August 2019, 1 in 4 adults in India has high BP. And as per Fourth National Family Health Survey, high BP was reported in 13.8% men and 8.8% women aged 15-49 and 15-54 years respectively. As a result, a large number of people develop heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure while in their productive years of life.
Lifestyle factors are critical determinants of BP levels operating against a background of genetic susceptibility. Excess body fat, poor dietary intake, tobacco use, physical inactivity are most important risk factors for high BP although kidney disease, hormonal imbalance or drugs including cocaine or alcohol can cause high BP in young population. Hence in a young person found to have high BP, it is essential to evaluate them for these secondary causes.
A young person with symptoms of recurrent headaches, vision changes, dizziness, nosebleeds, nausea, chest pain should get his/her BP checked as these could be indicating underlying hypertension. Also it is important to undergo regular basic health checkup.