Since the prevalence and clinical characteristics of young-onset hypertension are still to be elucidated, we performed targeted-screening at an annual university health check-up for two consecutive years. Out of 16,464 subjects in 2003 and 17,032 in 2004 that were aged less than 30 years, 22 and 26 students (all males) exhibited high blood pressure (BP), respectively, on three occasions during casual BP measurements at the Tohoku University Health Center (systolic and diastolic BP of 140 and/or 90 mmHg or greater, respectively). These students were asked to measure their BP at home, and 9 subjects in total were diagnosed as having essential hypertension (EH). The remaining students were diagnosed as having white coat hypertension (WCH). In 8 out of 9 EH students, their father and/or mother had also been treated with antihypertensive medication. Adjustment by attendance ratio for each BP measurement suggested that the incidence of EH was around 0.1% and that of hypertension (EH and WCH) was around 0.5% in university students aged less than 25 years, since most of the subjects and hypertensive students were between 18 and 24 years old. Body mass index of the EH, which was more than 25 kg/m2 (overweight), was significantly higher than that with WCH. In conclusion, the combination of repeated casual BP measurements and home BP effectively identified young-onset EH. The clinical parameters indicated that male gender, genetic background, and excessive weight were risk factors for young-onset hypertension.
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