London: More than a third of young people suffer from high blood pressure, thanks to bad diet and binge drinking, according to a survey released Friday.
A worrying 35 percent of those aged 16-34 have hypertension, despite the widespread belief that it is an `old age` problem.
Almost one in 20 of those showed severe or very severe raised blood pressure (BP), the tests on more than 8,000 people in Britain found, reports the Daily Mail.
Experts blamed binge drinking, bad diet and lack of exercise for the high levels of hypertension, which increases the risk of strokes, heart attacks and kidney problems.
Shafeeque Mohammed, a health expert at Lloydspharmacy who carried out the survey, described the rise in high BP in young people as of "particular" concern.
He said: "Although we must bear in mind that a one-off blood pressure test is not conclusive, cumulatively the average readings were higher than anticipated.
"High blood pressure is something that most people don`t think they need to worry about until later in life, but it can affect you at any age."
Mohammed added: "There are also a number of factors that can contribute to higher blood pressure including smoking, lack of physical activity, obesity, an unhealthy diet and excess alcohol.
"It`s important for young adults to recognise the risk and take action by managing their lifestyles carefully."
The study involved an analysis of 8,586 BP tests, which were conducted between January and June this year.
The survey also found that one in 10 adults over the age of 55 showed signs of severe or very severe hypertension, putting themselves at serious risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Men were found to be higher than women, with three in four classed as having high normal blood pressure or some level of hypertension.
Eoin O`Brien, professor at University College Dublin, warned that an increase in BP can lead to significant health problems.
"Lack of blood pressure control increases the chances of cardiovascular problems such as strokes, heart attacks or kidney problems."