What is the average blood pressure for a man or woman of a given age? How common is hypertension in young people? What is its significance, particularly in early life? These are some of the questions which occurred to me after taking the blood pressures on 265 men called in the closing days of the second draft.1 Although clinical experience had led me to expect a high incidence of hypertension in young men, it had not prepared me for the finding that in this particular series there were more with pressures over 130 mm. than under; and very many with pressures between 160 and 275. It was soon clear that this group did not represent a fair sampling from the community because so many were rejects from the recruiting offices; that is, most of the physically fit had gone to war and the unfit were left.
On turning to the