Hypertension in Millennials and Gen Z, Yes, It’s a Thing
Posted by: Tampa Cardio
On: January 20, 2023
When you hear the words “High Blood Pressure” you might think of someone older. The truth is that more and more younger people are being diagnosed with hypertension.
Millennial ranges from the birth year 1981 through 1996. That means that millennials are now as young as 27 and top out at 42. Generation Z followed them beginning in 1997 and ending in 2012. That makes Gen Z as old as 26 and as young as 11. While yes, 11 may still be a little young to develop hypertension, sadly 26 isn’t.
A recent study conducted by an American health insurance provider indicated that people aged 22–36 in 2022 were less healthy than same-aged people in 2018.
Hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes increased by 10%, 7%, and 19%, respectively, in 2022 compared to 2018. As of the statistics in 2022 almost half of the adults over the age of 20 have elevated or high blood pressure. Millennials during pregnancy have also been found to be twice as likely as Gen X to experience high blood pressure.
In 2022, Blue Cross Blue Shield released data from the claims of 55 million people in its Health of Millennials report. One of the most shocking stats: From 2014 to 2017, the prevalence of high blood pressure in people ages 21 to 36 jumped 16 percent and compared with Gen Xers when they were the same age, high blood pressure among millennials was 10 percent more prevalent.
Millennials are experiencing a faster health decline than Gen-Xers as they age. According to a recent report from Blue Cross Blue Shield, this decline extends to behavioral health and physical conditions.
What is considered high blood pressure?
A reading of 130 to 139 / 80 to 89 is now considered stage 1 high blood pressure.
What’s contributing to the rise in blood pressure levels among the younger generations?
Wellness vs. Health
There is a big push for wellness in social circles, but wellness and health are not the same thing. Cryotherapy, drinking tea, enjoying kombucha, and stopping to smell the roses can all contribute to your overall wellness, but for lasting health, you need to quit smoking, eat well, and exercise long-term.
By all means, love your body. But accepting excess weight as a permanent part of you isn’t healthy. It drives your blood pressure up and makes your entire system work harder. Truly loving yourself means taking care of your health.
Lack of Funds
Younger millennials and generation z-ers are just entering the job market. With low wages and inflation skyrocketing, expenses compared to income are tight. This leaves less money for health care as well as good nutritious food.
Food Delivery vs. Cooking
Gen Z and Millennials have been brought up on delivery and fast food. This means more calories, less nutrition, and higher expense. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Lack of Movement
Now, more than ever, people are stagnant. They watch Netflix, type on computers, and communicate via smartphone. Unless you make a concerted effort to go work out or get outdoors, your body isn’t getting the movement it needs.
Let’s face it, the world has gone mad. It can be enough to stress anyone out and drive up their stress levels and blood pressure. Turn off the news and focus on your own life, especially if your numbers are elevated.
The Good News Is
You can head off this whole problem of hypertension with some simple lifestyle changes.
1.) Lose Weight. For every two pounds lost, you could see a one-point drop in systolic blood pressure.
2.) Take Breaks. Just a few short walks a day had a positive effect on blood pressure in all test groups.
3.) Eat a Heart Healthy Diet. A healthy heart diet can drop your numbers significantly!
4.) Eat foods high in potassium. Potassium can help counteract the effects of sodium in your diet. Lower your intake of high-sodium foods by nixing key sources like deli meat, bread, and pizza.
5.) Say yes to exercise. The adrenaline and cortisol increase when you’re stressed. That alone can hike up blood pressure.
6.) Monitor Your Pressure. Check your blood pressure at home or at the store once a month no matter what your age. It’s a great way to see what your normal reading is and if it changes. If it does change and doesn’t bounce back to normal, please see your physician.
If you are in the Tampa Bay Florida area, we invite patients of all ages to come visit us at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates. Most insurance plans cover your office visit with just a specialist co pay.
We can help you manage your high blood pressure and prevent it from doing damage to your heart. www.tampacardio.com 813-975-2800.
Posted by: Tampa Cardio