Wed, Mar 14, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Younger adults urged to monitor blood pressure

By Tsai Chang-sheng and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

People under the age of 40 who have high blood pressure could have diseases that require urgent treatment, such as adrenal gland tumors and hyperthyroidism, a Hsinchu-based doctor said.

Health Promotion Administration research from 2013 to 2014 found that 24.1 percent of people older than 18 in Taiwan — about one-quarter of all adults — have high blood pressure, Taipei Medical University Hospital Hsinchu Branch nephrologist Cheng Hui-teng (鄭暉騰) said.

The research showed that about 4.7 percent of people aged between 18 to 39 in Taiwan have high blood pressure, he said.

High blood pressure is defined as 140 millimeter of mercury (mmHg) over 90mmHg.

Most cases of high blood pressure are diagnosed as primary hypertension, or high blood pressure with no special case, he said.

People younger than 40 with high blood pressure should be tested to see if their condition has a secondary cause, such as adrenal tumors, hyperthyroidism or disorders affecting the kidneys, he said.

Early treatment can reduce damage caused by high blood pressure, its underlying disorder or chronic reliance on drugs, he added.

Cheng cited the case of a 31-year-old woman who had been taking blood pressure medicine for two years without seeing a doctor, because she felt the condition was hereditary.

She finally sought treatment because of leg fatigue.

Blood tests showed that she had low blood potassium and adrenaline levels, but a high aldosterone level, and futher tests found she had a 25mm adrenal tumor, he said.

Following a laparoscopy and three days of bed rest, the woman recovered completely and returned to work without further complaints or the need for blood pressure drugs, Cheng said.

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