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Doctors Usually Miss Signs of Heart Diseases in Young Patients: Study

Update Date: Nov 07, 2012 07:32 AM EST

According to research presented at the American Heart Association conference Tuesday, signs of heart diseases in young patients are usually missed by doctors.

Heart attacks and other heart diseases are usually associated with elder people. Hence doctors quite too often fail to spot signs of heart diseases in younger patients, says a research that was presented at the American Heart Association conference Tuesday.

"This research directly addresses the public health burden in the U.S. as far as rising rates of hypertension among young adults, especially with the growing rate of obesity," said Dr. Heather Johnson, lead study author from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in a report published in CNN.

High blood pressure - which is responsible for increasing a person's risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and heart failure, usually goes unnoticed in younger patients, the study says.

"A timely diagnosis and control of high blood pressure is important, even if a patient is a young adult," Johnson said.

The research included the study of 13,593 men and women's heart conditions records. Their blood pressure readings were taken at least twice during office visits.

"It's important for patients to know what the blood pressure reading is when its taken at a clinic ... to ask if it is normal or abnormal," Johnson said.

Though it was found that more than two-thirds of the people aged between 18 and 24 didn't have high blood pressure, one-third of them were told they had hypertension.

"We know that many of the risk factors are increasing in our population meaning more obesity, more hypertension, more high cholesterol...we can't just go by chronologic age for risk of heart disease," said study author Judith Lichtman from the Yale School of Public Health.

"We really have to look at the whole picture," she added. "I think the whole picture may be sliding down to younger ages and we need to be better about recognizing the risk."

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