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Am J Hypertens. 2015 Oct;28(10):1197-200. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpv027. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

The Association of Prehypertension With Meals Eaten Away From Home in Young Adults in Singapore.

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Program in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore;
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Centre for Quantitative Medicine, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore.
Program in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore;



Elevated blood pressure (BP) during early life years is associated with future risk of hypertension and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and lifestyle factors associated with prehypertension (systolic BP (SBP) 120-139 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP (DBP) 80-89 mm Hg) or hypertension (SBP ≥ 140 mm Hg and/or DBP ≥ 90 mm Hg or on antihypertensive medications) among young adults at a Singapore university.


A cross-sectional survey of 501 university-going young adults aged 18-40 years in Singapore was conducted using convenience sampling. Data on BP, body mass index (BMI), and lifestyle factors (meals eaten away from home/week, physical activity) was collected, and their association with prehypertension or hypertension was determined.


Prehypertension was found in 27.4% (95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 24-32) of the population: 49% (44-58) in men and 9% (6-13) in women (P < 0.001). 2.2% (1.2-3.9) had hypertension. In a multivariable model, those with prehypertension or hypertension tended to eat more meals away from home per week (per meal/week odds ratio (OR) = 1.05, 95% CI = 1.01-1.09), have higher BMI (per kg/m2 OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.02-1.30), and low physical activity (low vs. moderate/high activity OR = 2.14, 95% CI = 1.20-3.82). Other associates were male gender (OR = 7.01, 95% CI = 3.97-12.4) and older age (per year OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 1.01-1.11).


Prehypertension may be common among university-going young adults in Singapore and is associated with potentially preventable lifestyle factors. Our findings call for large-scale population-based studies, including lifestyle modification trials for prevention of hypertension among young adults in Singapore.


Singapore; blood pressure; prehypertension; risk factors; young adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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