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Teen girls on pill at risk of high blood pressure

A new study also showed alcohol consumption in teenage boys increased the risk of high blood pressure later in life.

Image: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images

USE OF THE contraceptive pill among adolescent girls can increase the risk of high blood pressure, according to a study in Australia, Science Daily reports.

The study also found alcohol consumption among teenage boys was linked to blood pressure levels in late adolescence.

These factors are likely to notably affect their risk of both ischemic heart disease and stroke in adulthood, investigators warned.

In a survey by the University of Western Australia, teenagers were asked a range of questions about their diet, weight, alcohol consumption and whether they smoked. The girls were also asked if they were taking the contraceptive pill.

The results from the survey showed the use of the pill was significantly associated with raised blood pressure in girls. The systolic blood pressure of girls taking the Pill (30 percent of the group) was 3.3 mmHg higher than non-Pill users, and grew higher with increasing body mass index.

This finding extended previous findings on use of the Pill in adolescence, the authors said.

Commenting on the results, Dr Chi La-Ha from the Royal Perth Hospital in Australia said “Teenage girls taking oral contraceptives should be advised about regular blood pressure monitoring.”

Unlike boys, blood pressure in the teenage girls was not affected by alcohol consumption.

“Adolescents need to be aware that a lifestyle which predisposes to fatness, high salt intake and alcohol consumption may lead to adverse health consequences in adult life,” Dr Chi-Ha warned.

Read: Cigarettes and alcohol: less experimenting, more abstinence by Irish teens>
Irish teens drinking less often than European counterparts>

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