According to a new study funded by U.S National Institutes of Health (NIH), around 20 per cent of U.S young adults are suffering from high blood pressure. Researchers looked into the health data from 14,000 men and women ages 24 to 32 who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

But only half of those adults, who were ages 24 to 32, have been told by a doctor that they are hypertensive, which shows that not all of them may be aware that they have the symptomless disease.

This is alarming result since this condition has strong link to heart attack and stroke risk.

The study will appear in Epidemiology. The new finds are much higher than previous estimates of the prevalence of high blood pressure in this same age group.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted about the same time as the Add Health one (in 2007-2008), showed just 4 percent of the young adult population as having high blood pressure.

The reason for surge in this number may be linked to increasing obesity rates since being overweight is a risk factor for hypertension. The obesity rates of teens rose from 11 percent in 1995 to 22 percent five years later when they hit their early 20s.

According to experts, early diagnosis and treatment could prevent many of the problems associated with hypertension.

High blood pressure is easy to treat through diet, exercise and drugs, yet it is the second-leading cause of death in the United States.