Could you have high blood pressure and not know it? A new study finds that for many young people the answer may be "yes."
The study, by researchers at the University of North Carolina looked at the numbers for more than 14,000 people between the ages of 24 and 32. Doctors found that nearly 20 percent of them had high blood pressure and that half of them didn't know it. Doctors say in this case what patients don't know can hurt them.
"You have to educate them to the long tern benefit of treatment, which is reducing the risk for stroke and heart attack and empowering them to know that if they treat their blood pressure in their 30s, they are more likely to be healthy in their 50s or 60s," Researcher Dr. Shepard Weiner said.
To keep your blood pressure in a healthy range, doctors say you should have it check regularly, eat a healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight, get plenty of exercise and limit your alcohol intake.
The study also found that men are nearly three times more likely than women to have hypertension.