Hypertension in Young People: Epidemiology, Diagnostic Assessment and Therapeutic Approach

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Abstract

High blood pressure (BP) still remains one of the most relevant cardiovascular risk factors, also due to its persistently high prevalence and growing incidence in the general adult and elderly population. Since almost all hypertension-related cardiovascular complications, mostly including coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and congestive heart failure, occurred in adult and elderly individuals, evidence on both prevalence and clinical management of hypertension in young individuals are lacking. Therefore, the clinical impact of high BP levels in young populations remains to be explored. In the recent years, the attitude of the scientific community has changed and more attention was devoted to young individuals with hypertension, also in view of the fact that early identification of these subjects may prevent developing of established hypertension in adulthood. In addition, unhealthy lifestyle habits have progressively involved children and adolescents worldwide, thus contributing to further increase the risk of developing hypertension in young individuals. On the basis of these considerations, the present review is aimed at providing a brief reappraisal of the major aspects of hypertension in the young age, as well as at promoting interest and discussion on this important issue.

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