Obese females are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure compared to males say experts. According to researchers from the University of California obese teenage teenage girls boys are nine times more likely to develop the condition, known as the ‘silent killer’, compared to their peers.
5 times more likely to develop high blood pressure compared to those of normal weight. The study of over 1,700 teenagers aged 13 to 17, revealed that obesity has a greater impact on girls’ blood pressure than it does on boys. If left untreated the extra strain on arteries can increase the risk of a heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. Professor Rudy Ortiz, said: ‘Overall, there is a higher likelihood that those who present with both higher BMI and blood pressure will succumb to cardiovascular complications as adults. The findings suggest that obese females may have a higher risk of developing these problems than males.
BMI, which measures weight against height, sates that those with a measurement of 30 or higher are considered obese. The hormone oestrogen usually protects women, who have not yet reached the menopause, against heart attack and heart disease, but obesity can counteract this. He said: ‘We were able to categorize the students in different ways, first based on BMI within each of three blood pressure categories. Then we flipped that around and looked at each category of blood pressure for different weight categories. Almost a quarter of youngsters are now obese and doctors have warned that Britain is facing a ‘ticking health time bomb’. Around 30 per cent of people in England have high blood pressure but are unaware as there are often no obvious symptoms. Effective steps to prevent high blood pressure include losing weight, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.