Elevated blood pressure is well recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Early detection of hypertension and appropriate therapy have been proven beneficial for the patients prognosis. Some young individuals with initially raised blood pressure levels will, presumably, be at risk for subsequent hypertension. Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between blood pressure levels in young persons and values recorded for these subjects 20 or 30 years later. However, it is difficult to establish an accurate definition of hypertension in the younger population, and this has promoted interest in exercise as a complementary test in the routine workup and diagnosis of borderline hypertension (BH). The stress of exercise may in itself serve as a means by which the effect of anxiety—a potential cause of elevated blood pressure levels in normoten- sive persons—can be reduced. On the other hand, normotensives with unusually high blood pressure response during physical activity are at increased risk for future development of cardiovascular complications. The present paucity of data on exercise testing in young BH females led us to evaluate and compare the response to dynamic exercise in this patient population and in normotensive controls.
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