Is the rise in blood pressure with age a consequence of the western lifestyle?

November 14, 2018

Bottom Line: A common belief in cardiology is that blood pressure (BP) increases with age, although studies find little evidence of that among non-Western adults in isolated communities. But does the association between age and BP differ in two isolated communities with different levels of Westernization? In this study, researchers examined the association between age and BP in two communities in a remote area of the Venezuelan rainforest inaccessible by land. The Yanomami community is made up of hunter-gatherer-gardeners who are among the least assimilated people in the world. The Yekwana people live near the Yanomami but they have been exposed to missions and an airstrip has allowed for delivery of medicine and other features of Western lifestyle, including occasional exposure to processed foods and salt. Blood pressure measurements were taken for 72 Yanomami and 83 Yekwana participants between the ages of 1 and 60 over about five months. Researchers found no age-associated rise in BP in Yanomami children and adults, whereas there was an age-associated rise in BP in the more Western-exposed Yekwana community that began in childhood. These results add to findings that suggest the rise in BP with age may not be natural but rather a consequence of unnatural Western exposures. A limitation of the study was its small sample size.
Authors: Noel T. Mueller, Ph.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.


Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Want to embed a link to this study in your story? Link will be live at the embargo time

JAMA Cardiology

Related Blood Pressure Articles from Brightsurf:

Children who take steroids at increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clots
Children who take oral steroids to treat asthma or autoimmune diseases have an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood clots, according to Rutgers researchers.

High blood pressure treatment linked to less risk for drop in blood pressure upon standing
Treatment to lower blood pressure did not increase and may decrease the risk of extreme drops in blood pressure upon standing from a sitting position.

Changes in blood pressure control over 2 decades among US adults with high blood pressure
National survey data were used to examine how blood pressure control changed overall among U.S. adults with high blood pressure between 1999-2000 and 2017-2018 and by age, race, insurance type and access to health care.

Transient increase in blood pressure promotes some blood vessel growth
Blood vessels are the body's transportation system, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and whisking away waste.

Effect of reducing blood pressure medications on blood pressure control in older adults
Whether the amount of blood pressure medications taken by older adults could be reduced safely and without a significant change in short-term blood pressure control was the objective of this randomized clinical trial that included 534 adults 80 and older.

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.

Here's something that will raise your blood pressure
The apelin receptor (APJ) has been presumed to play an important role in the contraction of blood vessels involved in blood pressure regulation.

New strategy for treating high blood pressure
The key to treating blood pressure might lie in people who are 'resistant' to developing high blood pressure even when they eat high salt diets, shows new research published today in Experimental Physiology.

Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.

Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.

Read More: Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to