Six ways to lower your risk for high blood pressure - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/21/09

Six ways to lower your risk for high blood pressure

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Source: JAMA Source: JAMA

By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Roughly one-third of all American adults have high blood pressure which can lead to stroke and heart attack.  Now, a new study shows the condition can be significantly reduced or even prevented by adopting six healthy habits. 

The first is the most critical and that is keeping a normal body weight.  Exercising, eating a healthy diet, moderating alcohol consumption, avoiding over-the-counter pain relievers, and taking folic acid supplements finish the list.  

"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 leads to greater and greater reductions in the risk of developing high blood pressure", says Dr. John Forman, M.D. of Brigham & Women's Hospital. 

The study appears this week in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Researchers at Harvard and at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital teamed up to track the lifestyle habits of nearly 84,000 women who had normal blood pressure when the study began 14 years ago.  In those 14 years, they found those six lifestyle behaviors helped lower the risk of developing high blood pressure by about 80%, even in women with a family history of hypertension.

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