Genetic factors likely play some role in high blood pressure. If your parents were diagnosed with high blood pressure before age
55, you may be at higher risk for developing high blood pressure than if
they developed hypertension at a later age, suggested a preliminary
study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions
Framingham Heart Study researchers examined blood pressure
information collected on parents and their offspring since as early as
1948. Specifically, they looked at 1,635 adult children (average age 32)
who did not have high blood pressure at the start.
‘A person’s risk of developing high blood pressure increases, if the parents were diagnosed with high blood pressure before age 55.’
Of the offspring
studied: group one had no parents with high blood pressure; group two had
one or more parents with late-onset hypertension, meaning they were
diagnosed at age 55 or older; group three had one parent with early-onset
high blood pressure; and group four had both parents with early-onset
hypertension. They found:
- The offspring who were most likely to develop hypertension were those whose mother and father had early-onset hypertension.
- When individuals with non-hypertensive parents, group one,
were followed for a decade, 6% of them developed high blood
pressure. This portion in group two was 8%; in group three it was 11%; and in group four, where both parents had early-onset
hypertension, it was 19%.
- The offspring's high blood pressure risk increased by about
50% from group one to group two. And from group one to group four,
offspring with both parents having early-onset hypertension had 3.5
times the risk of hypertension compared to offspring whose parents had
normal blood pressure.
Finally, the researchers found that the earlier in life the parents
developed hypertension, the earlier their offspring did also. It may be
important to differentiate between early- and late-onset parental
hypertension when estimating an individual's hypertension risk,