Introduction: High incidence of prehypertension is reported in medical undergraduates. Prehypertension may progress to hypertension and eventually cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Therefore, identifying the risk factors of hypertension in prehypertensives state may aid in effective control of blood pressure. Aim: To find whether clustering of known risk factors of hypertension or certain individual risk factors alone affect blood pressure in young adults. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study done in 84 apparently healthy medical students of either sex aged between 18-23 years. It included students with at least one known risk factor of hypertension. Blood pressure levels of 120 to 139/80 to 89 mm Hg were defined as prehypertension. The risk factors considered were male gender, family history of cardiovascular disease, sedentary life, general and central obesity, sleep quality, perceived stress and dietary pattern. Clustering of risk factors was assessed based on collective scoring system in which each risk factor was scored appropriately. Statistical analysis was done by unpaired t, Chi-square and Pearson correlation coefficient tests. The p<0.05 was considered significant. Results: There was a positive correlation between total risk factor score and systolic blood pressure (r = 0.266, p = 0.015). Among the risk factors, frequency of males with systolic and diastolic prehypertension was higher compared to females (p <0.0001,= 0.022 respectively). Body mass index was higher in systolic and diastolic prehypertensives compared to normotensives (p <0.001, 0.002, respectively). Waist circumference was higher in systolic and diastolic prehypertensives compared to normotensives (p< 0.0001). Conclusion: In apparently healthy young adults, male gender and obesity are the major risk factors of elevated blood pressure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry