Study reveals hypertension likely to go undiagnosed in young adults

PCNA urges all health care professionals to identify CVD risk factors

Los Angeles, Calif. - A new study released today at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2012 indicates that high blood pressure is likely to go undiagnosed in most young adults age 18-24.

The study, presented as Abstract 16557, found that adults 18-24 years old with high blood pressure were 28 percent less likely to be diagnosed during a health care visit than adults 60 years of age and older.

It also indicated that family practice health care providers were less likely to diagnose than internal medicine providers.

The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) is urging health care professionals, regardless of focus, to work together in closing this gap in diagnosis among young adults.

“This study highlights the importance that all health care providers address cardiovascular risk factors, such as elevated blood pressure levels, regardless of age and the reason a patient has come to a health care visit,” says Mary Ann Champagne, MSN, CNS, FAHA, FPCNA, clinical nurse specialist at Stanford University Medical Center’s Preventive Cardiology Clinic and member of the PCNA board of directors. “If a patient’s blood pressure record remains high in any situation, health care professionals should be educating the patient on risk and/or referring them for a follow-up visit.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 11 percent of men and 7 percent of women age 20-34 years old have hypertension. This population is part of a group of 29 percent of Americans who have high blood pressure.

For more information about patient education about high blood pressure, visit www.pcna.net.

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Media Contact
Abby Despins
Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association
adespins@pcna.net
920.606.2115