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Heart Disease in my 20's?
An_243817 posted:
Hey community, I'm not really sure where to post this so I'm just putting it here.

I'm 22, more-or-less active and overweight. I've on-and-off hand high blood (130-145/85-95) pressure since I was ~18 and started having it checked. At first just my allergist told me I should have it checked out. I would occasionally mention it during doctor visits but it either wouldn't be high or just not high enough for him to do anything but blood work. Triglycerides and cholesterol came out normal.

Fast forward ~1.5 years. I see a nurse practioner for a sinus infection and she's the first one to straight up say "See a doctor about this, you're not overweight enough for this to be lack of diet and excercise" +, I have a history with the health clinic that even when I was in a normal weight (I've gained ~12 pounds in the last year) it was still high.

I see the doctor, its pretty high, and get an ECG. Doctor returns with the bad news that I have a left bundle branch block. He also prescribed an ACE-inhibitor. I understand the physiology as I'm in a health-related major, and know that this is an indication heart disease. The doctor told me it wasn't good, but not to get too upset as its not like I had a heart attack or something. I'm scheduled for a stress test in about a month. They also did blood work and it all came back normal... I suppose that's a good thing?

My questions are: is hypertension common in the younger crowd if they have poor dieting? (I'm a college student, so lots of sodium, and then alcohol on the weekends) Is a LBBB common in hypertensive people or is there something worse going on? If my cholesterol is normal does this eliminate the chance of some type of oncoming congenital heart failure?

Any info would be great. This is totally stressing me out, which I'm sure just makes things worse.
billh99 responded:
You might want to also ask about this in the heart disease forum.

Classical heart disease if from plaque that builds up in the arteries and restricts blood flow. That leads to angina and/or a heart attack.

The plaque starts in the teens and twenties, but typically does not become a problem until much, much later. But it has been know to cause MI's in people in the 20's and 30's.

Hypertension can cause stress on the blood vessels that and is part a cause for the plaque.

Hypertension can also make the heart remodel - that is get bigger and/or thicker. That can also be caused by stenosis of the valves and by valve leakage.

And that in turn can lead to some scaring of the heart that affects the electrical activity.

But there are a lot of different genetic syndromes that cause electrical problems.

That is all that I know about LBBB.

Ask if they are going to do an echo with the stress test. The echo allows them to see the movement of the heart, the size, and blood flow.

My questions are: is hypertension common in the younger crowd if they have poor dieting?

Too common and even in high school age children.

But until you get a complete workup it is really hard to tell if the LBBB is a simple normal variant, limited to the effects of the hypertension, or if it has some other causes.

BUT, regardless of all of that excess weight, binge drinking and a poor diet do increase the likelihood of hypertension, heart disease, cancers, and other problems.

For a male the recommendation is for an average of no more than 2 drinks per day. And if I recall correctly no more than 4 at any one day.

And while some people or more salt sensitive the problem is that with a lot of prepared salted foods the amount of potassium is low. And for optimum BP control the potassium/sodium level is what is important.

And losing as little as 10 lbs can have a measurable effect on your BP.

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