BACKGROUND: Unhealthy lifestyle practices are risk factors for future hypertension. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between lifestyle changes over a 6-year period and the risk of developing sustained hypertension in a cohort of young hypertensive individuals, and to identify the predictors of lifestyle impairment over time. METHODS: Seven-hundred and eighty never-treated hypertensive HARVEST participants, 18-45 years old, were studied. RESULTS: Only modest mean behavioral changes were observed during follow-up. This, however, was the net result of many participants improving and others worsening their lifestyle. Participants with a family history of hypertension (FH+, n = 459) had more undesirable lifestyles (P = 0.004) and higher clinic and ambulatory blood pressures (P = 0.03) at baseline than participants without a family history of hypertension (FH-). During the 6-year follow-up, FH- individuals strikingly worsened their lifestyle while FH+ participants exhibited impressive improvements (P < 0.00001). Other predictors of lifestyle impairment were male gender (P = 0.003) and age (P = 0.02). Adoption of an unfavorable lifestyle was accompanied by an increased risk of developing sustained hypertension (P = 0.04). Initiation of drug therapy for hypertension was significantly higher among FH- than FH+ individuals (53 versus 45%, respectively; P = 0.045). CONCLUSIONS: 'Lower risk' FH- stage 1 hypertensive individuals may initially be at higher risk of developing more severe hypertension in comparison with their FH+ counterparts. This increased risk may be attributed to worsening of their lifestyle profiles over time. Healthy lifestyles should be emphasized to all hypertensive individuals including patients with favorable lifestyle profiles.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Hypertension|
|State||Published - Aug 2006|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine