Tags: family history hypertension exercise lowers risk | high blood pressure and exercise | cardiovascular fitness and exercise

Family History of Hypertension? Exercise Lowers Risk

Friday, 18 May 2012 12:10 PM

One in three adults suffers from high blood pressure, and if your parents have the disease, your risk of developing it is higher. But new research published in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension found that you can reduce your risk if you increase your cardiovascular fitness with moderate exercise.
Researchers studied more than 6,000 highly fit people who had at least one parent with high blood pressure and discovered they had a 34 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure themselves than people with a low fitness level who had the same family history.
"Understanding the roles that family history and fitness play in chronic diseases is critically important," said Robin P. Shook, M.S., study lead author and a doctoral graduate student in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. "The results of this study send a very practical message, which is that even a very realistic, moderate amount of exercise — which we define as brisk walking for 150 minutes per week — can provide a huge health benefit, particularly to people predisposed to hypertension because of their family history."
The study found that people with low fitness levels as well as a parent with hypertension had a 70 percent higher risk of developing the disease than highly fit people with no parental history of the condition. But those who were fit and had a parent with high blood pressure only experienced a 16 percent increase in risk when compared to those who were fit and had no parental history of hypertension.
"The correlation between fitness levels, parental history and risk are impossible to ignore," Shook said. "This awareness can serve the clinician and the patient, as they work together to find effective and reasonable ways to avoid the diseases that have affected their family members — in some cases, for generations."
The researchers' findings support the American Heart Association's recommendations of moderately intense physical activity, such as brisk walking, for 30 minutes or longer at least five days a week.



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One in three adults suffers from high blood pressure, and if your parents have the disease, your risk of developing it is higher, but American you can reduce your risk if you exercise.
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2012-10-18
Friday, 18 May 2012 12:10 PM
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