Friday, February 18, 2011

Lose Weight Can Help You Stay Away From Hypertension!

When a person’s systemic arterial blood pressure is elevated, this person is said to have hypertension, or more commonly known as high blood pressure. Having hypertension over a long period of time can place a person at higher risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, heart failure, arterial aneurysm, and even kidney failure.

Blood pressure measurements consist of 2 readings: systolic (higher) and diastolic (lower). A systolic blood pressure of more than 140 is high, and a diastolic blood pressure of over 90 is also high.

For most patients, dietary and lifestyle changes could improve blood pressure control thus reducing the risk of the likely health complications. However, medication treatment might still be required for other patients, especially those who cannot effectively or sufficiently change their lifestyle.

Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that overweight or obese people were more likely to have a high systolic blood pressure, and for those with a high body mass index (BMI), how in shape they were only had a small impact on their blood pressure. Their findings were published in the American Heart Journal, July 2010.

BMI stands for body mass index, which is a measure commonly used to determine whether a person is overweight or obese. BMI is calculated by dividing the weight (in kilos) by the square of height (in meters). Overweight or obesity is a known risk factor of hypertension.

Data of approximately 35,000 patients consisting mostly white males was collected over the last 20 years at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas and analyzed. Measurements recorded when patients came into the clinic included body composition, blood pressure and fitness levels.

Results of analysis showed that having a higher BMI was associated with having a higher systolic blood pressure for all participants. Such correlation has already been found many times in the past. For people of the same age and gender, fitness did not seem to have any effect on blood pressure at all.

While fitness plays an important role in the overall health and mortality, the results suggested that people trying to reduce their risk for hypertension should set losing their weight as first priority and increasing physical fitness as a secondary goal. In other words, achieving a normal body weight is the key to lower one’s blood pressure.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:08 AM

    Scientists in England and Singapore have developed a device (like a watch) which will help moniter the blood pressure in the aorta and help to assess the risk of heart diease.