Caffeine linked to teens' blood pressure

February 16, 2005 in Heart Health, Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Caffeine linked to teens' blood pressure

Researchers report that the amount of caffeine consumed by teenagers is directly related to their daytime blood pressure -- and this effect is especially pronounced among African Americans.

In the latest study, adolescents selected foods and beverages for a four-day sodium-controlled diet. The subjects were divided into three groups based on caffeine intake, and ambulatory blood pressure measurements were taken during one of the four days. Researchers found that African-American participants had higher daytime and nighttime blood pressures than their white counterparts. In both groups, daytime blood pressure rose as caffeine intake increased, with a greater effect seen in African Americans.

This study suggests that there is a need for additional research to examine the direct effect of caffeine on adolescent blood pressure and consider why the effects of caffeine are not consistent across racial groups.

Researchers conclude that given the results of this study – it may be possible to design relevant intervention strategies that could help reduce the risk of hypertension among vulnerable populations.

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