Reducing high blood pressure risk

July 21, 2009 3:21:24 PM PDT
High blood pressure is a common problem. One in three of us have it and a lot of people take it for granted, but it can lead to stroke and heart attack.

Harvard researchers have shown that if we develop just six healthy behaviors in our life, the risk for developing hypertension can be significantly reduced.

The reason to lower blood pressure its threat.

"High blood pressure is a major cause of stroke and a major cause of heart disease or heart attack," Dr. John Forman of Harvard Medical School said.

Forman and his colleagues studied the habits of nearly 84-thousand women who had normal blood pressure at the beginning of the study. Fourteen years later, their findings are out.

"We found that women who followed all six low-risk lifestyle factors had a lower risk of developing high blood pressure by eighty percent," Forman said.

The most critical factor was keeping a normal weight.

Other factors:

  • Exercising an average of thirty minutes a day.
  • Eating a healthy diet. Healthy diets mean low fat with lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation. Generally that means no more than one drink daily for women.
  • Avoiding over the counter pain relievers.
  • Taking a supplement of folic acid, at least 400 micrograms daily.

    Following just one of the six healthy lifestyle factors does reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure. However, adding on and combining multiple low risk factors lead to greater and greater reduction in the risk of developing high blood pressure.

    It's important to remember that high blood pressure can go up with age. Everyone should know their blood pressure numbers as well as they know their address or phone number. If it is high, talk to your doctor.

    High blood pressure does not cause any symptoms in the early stages, but later it can signal itself by dizziness, headaches or nosebleeds. This is an important marker to good health which can be achieved with help for six good health habits.


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