Parents' high blood pressure associated with increased risk of hypertension throughout life in men

Mar 24, 2008

Individuals who have one or two parents with hypertension appear to have a significantly increased risk of developing elevated blood pressure throughout their adult lives, according to a report in the March 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, often clusters in families, according to background information in the article. Researchers estimate that between 35 percent and 65 percent of high blood pressure is heritable.

Nae-Yuh Wang, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, assessed hypertension in 1,160 men who first filled out study questionnaires in 1947, when they were medical students. At that time, the participants underwent medical examinations and reported their medical history, health habits and dietary habits. Each year for 54 years of follow-up, they completed annual questionnaires regarding their blood pressure and the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension in themselves and their parents.

At the beginning of the study, 264 (23 percent) of the medical students reported at least one parent with hypertension, including 20 with both parents who had hypertension. During follow-up, 583 new cases of parental hypertension occurred, so that 701 (60 percent) of the group had at least one parent with high blood pressure and 166 (14 percent) had two. Men with one or two parents with hypertension had higher average systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure at the beginning of the study and were also more likely to develop hypertension at some point during adulthood than those whose parents never developed hypertension.

“Men with both parents with hypertension or men with one parent who was hypertensive before the age of 55 years had a much higher risk of developing hypertension, especially at a younger age,” the authors write. Early-onset hypertension in both parents was associated with a 6.2-fold higher risk of hypertension at any point in adulthood and a 20-fold higher risk of developing hypertension by age 35.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Unlocking a mystery of Huntington's disease in space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Guns aren't the only things killing cops

Apr 11, 2014

The public does not realize—in fact, police themselves may not realize—that the dangers police officers are exposed to on a daily basis are far worse than anything on "Law and Order."

Recommended for you

Scientists make critical end-stage liver discovery

1 hour ago

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers in the University of Arizona's College of Pharmacy has discovered a molecular pathway that could be key to creating new therapeutics that would slow or even reverse ...

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Scientists make critical end-stage liver discovery

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers in the University of Arizona's College of Pharmacy has discovered a molecular pathway that could be key to creating new therapeutics that would slow or even reverse ...

Solving cancer's secrets

Some fathers play ball with their sons. Or take them fishing. Chuck Perou's father took his son to his pathology lab to show him how a pathologist conducts tests and runs experiments. Perou, a nature junky ...

Harm-reduction program optimizes HIV/AIDS prevention

(Medical Xpress)—New research from UC San Francisco and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation has found that clients participating in a harm-reduction substance use treatment program, the Stonewall Project, decrease their use ...

Meth mouth menace

Something was up in Idaho. While visiting a friend in Athol, a small town north of Coeur d'Alene, Jennifer Towers, director of research affairs at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, noticed ...