Washington: A new study in the United States reveals that almost one in five young adults in America suffer from high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is often symptomless but diagnosis and treatment are crucial because,  it can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

The study involved data from 2008 from 14,000 men and women ages 24 to 32 and found that 19 percent of those people had high blood pressure, or a reading of 140/90 millimeters of higher mercury.

Researchers did find that men were more likely than women to have high blood pressure. Almost 27 percent of men had hypertension compared to 11 percent of women.

The study was published in the journal Epidemiology on May 25.

Another widely cited and reputable study by US-based National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported a four percent rate of hypertension for a similar age group around the same time period, between 2007 and 2008.

"Our respective findings may differ, but the message is clear," said Dr. Kathleen Mullan Harris, study researcher and interim director of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in a statement.

"Young adults and the medical professionals shouldn't assume they're not old enough to have high blood pressure." Harris said.

To keep your blood pressure from getting too high, the researchers recommend eating a balanced and healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables. Reduce your intake of sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams a day. Also,cut back on alcohol to two drinks or less for men a day and one drink or less for women.

Also, be sure to get regular exercise at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week.

(Agencies)