Advanced bone age in children is linked to potential high blood pressure issues, according to a new study published in Hypertension and reported by HealthDay News.

In this study, researchers examined the bone age of 108 kids by taking X-rays of their wrists. Fifty-four of them had high blood pressure, and out of this group 48 had an average advanced bone age of two years. For example, 14-year-old children with high blood pressure had the bone age of 16-year-olds.

“Accelerated skeletal maturation may be the early telltale sign of developing hypertension,” said study coauthor Mieczyslaw Litwin, MD, scientific director of Children’s Memorial Health Institute in Warsaw.

Accelerated maturation is when the body achieves biological maturity at a rate faster than average, and it is not the same as precocious puberty—signs of sexual and physical maturity before 7 or 8 in girls and before 9 in boys.

Can anything be done to counter this accelerated maturation? “It is difficult to imagine that the process of biological maturity can be reversed,” Litwin said. “But we think that some lifestyle modifications, such as increased physical activity and diet modification, can influence both metabolic abnormalities and the tempo of biological maturity.”