Tags: blood | pressure | lifestyle

Healthy Habits cut Blood Pressure by Two-thirds

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 01:59 PM

If you have high blood pressure or are prone to developing it, chances are your doctor has recommended cutting salt from your diet or prescribed medication. But new research shows adopting a healthy lifestyle – watching what you eat, exercising, drinking moderately, and maintaining a healthy weight – can cut the risk of hypertension by two-thirds.
The findings, presented a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology this week, indicate adopting healthy habits may be the best way to head off high blood pressure, which causes about 7 million deaths worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization.
Lead researcher Pekka Jousilahti, from National Institute for Health and Welfare, said that although the study examined the effects of diet, exercise, alcohol and tobacco on healthy people who did not have high blood pressure, the findings suggest individuals with hypertension may also benefit from adopting healthier lifestyles.
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"Four modifiable lifestyle factors: alcohol consumption, physical activity, consumption of vegetables and keeping normal weight have a remarkable effect on the development of hypertension," said Jousilahti. "Lifestyle modification has a huge public health potential to prevent hypertension…. Both men and women should take steps towards a healthier lifestyle to decrease their risk of hypertension."
He added: "Our study was focused on prevention of hypertension and therefore included subjects who did not have hypertension at baseline. But the results should apply to the treatment of patients with hypertension, who can reduce their blood pressure by modifying the four lifestyle factors alone, or by making these modifications while taking blood pressure lowering medication."
For the study, researchers tracked 9,637 Finnish men and 11,430 women who were 25 to 74 years of age between 1982 and 2002. Those who reported daily consumption of vegetables, normal body weight, moderate alcohol consumption, and a daily diet including vegetables were 66 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who did not.
"The risk of hypertension was only one third among those having all four healthy lifestyle factors compared to those having none," said Jousilahti. "Even having one to three healthy lifestyle factors reduced the risk of hypertension remarkably. For example having two healthy lifestyle factors reduced the risk of hypertension by nearly 50 percent in men and by more than 30 percent in women."
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Diet, exercise, moderate alcohol intake, and maintaining a healthy weight can significantly cut hypertension risks.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 01:59 PM
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