Late Adolescent's with High BMI and Low Fitness Independently Predicts Midlife High Blood Pressure - February 2016

Pam Harrison - January 22, 2016

CHICAGO, IL - A high body-mass index (BMI) and poor aerobic capacity in late adolescence are both independently associated with a higher risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure) in middle age, and their effects are additive, suggests a study based on a large Swedish male cohort.

Among the findings: the young male participants with normal baseline BMI but poor fitness still had a sharply and significantly increased risk of hypertension later in life. "This was our most surprising finding, and it suggests that interventions to prevent hypertension should include not only weight control but aerobic fitness, even among people with normal BMI," lead author Dr Casey Crump (Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY) said to heartwire from Medscape in an email.

"Aerobic fitness early in life has long-term health benefits even among those who are not overweight or obese," Crump observed. Lavie and colleagues contend that "As physicians, it is imperative that we document levels of physical activity during almost all patient encounters and that we use this opportunity at nearly ever visit to promote and prescribe physical activity to all of our patients."

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