blood pressure conceptual meter

Avoid this habit to prevent from high blood pressure

By Serena Gordon, HealthDay Reporter (Source

Avoid this habit to prevent from high blood pressure

Blood pressure: You probably already know that particular healthier lifestyle behaviours can lower your chance of developing high blood pressure but isn’t any 1 behaviour more important than the others?

Maybe, as new research suggests maintaining a healthy weight is your No. 1 behaviour to stop unhealthy blood pressure levels.

blood pressure conceptual meter
blood pressure conceptual meter indicate sky high, isolated on white background

“Our results suggest by maintaining a healthy body weight into middle age, you can help maintain low blood pressure,” said the study’s lead author, John Booth III. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

“There have been increases in blood pressure at younger ages, that are connected to heart disease and stroke,” Booth said. “We assessed the long-term effect of maintaining healthy behaviours on [elevated blood pressure].”

Booth and his colleagues looked at the effects of five healthy behaviours:

Never smoking
Consuming 7 or fewer alcoholic drinks weekly for girls or 14 or fewer drinks per week for men
Eating a nutritious diet (following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH diet)
Obtaining 150 minutes or more a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity
keeping a healthy weight.

The study included nearly 4,700 volunteers. They were between 18 and 30 years old when the study began in 1985 and 1986.

Over 25 years of follow-up, the researchers measured blood pressure and health behaviours eight times.

Individuals who maintained a healthy body weight were 41 percent less likely to see their blood pressure increase as they approached middle age.

Study volunteers who claimed at least four of the wholesome behaviours had a 27 percent decreased risk of high blood pressure from middle age.

Remaining physically active and eating a healthy diet weren’t specifically linked to a greater blood pressure.

On the other hand, never drinking and smoking little to no alcohol appeared to keep blood pressure reduced in middle age. However, the investigators said a larger study is required to confirm these since they might have been a chance finding.

Since maintaining a healthful body weight seems to be a more significant behaviour than the others, does this mean you do not have to worry about a nutritious diet or getting enough exercise?

Not at all, Booth said.

He said other health behaviours are connected to maintaining a healthy weight, together with exercise and a nutritious diet chief among them.

“Multiple factors are contributing to the risk of developing high blood pressure throughout the lifespan, and these factors all interact together,” Booth noted.

Still, the analysis showed a clear advantage to staying trim from a young age through middle age.

Exactly what is it all about weight which may boost blood pressure?

Dr. Howard Selinger is part of family medicine at the Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in North Haven, Conn.. He said weight may result in elevated blood pressure in a variety of ways.

“When you gain weight, your heart must work harder because the weight has a compressive effect on the blood vessels. Over decades, that may produce cardiac issues. The vascular bed — the blood vessels — stiffens as we age,” Selinger said.

But for individuals who do not gain weight, there is less stiffening. “That, in turn, keeps blood pressure lower and prevents more serious outcomes. If you decrease your weight, you reduce the pressure,” Selinger clarified.

He said weight is obviously a significant element in maintaining blood pressure at a healthy level. But he believes the other aspects important too, particularly never smoking.

Findings in the study were scheduled for presentation Thursday at an American Heart Association meeting, in San Francisco. Studies presented at meetings are usually seen as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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