Body weight trumps other factors in maintaining low blood pressure

By: Daniel Allar

A 25-year study of young adults transitioning to middle age revealed maintaining a healthy weight was more important in blood pressure control than other common health behaviors.

Specifically, participants who kept a body mass index of less than 25 kilograms per square meter were 41 percent less likely to have increasing blood pressure as they aged.

Researchers also analyzed the impacts of never smoking, zero to moderate alcohol consumption, exercising 150 minutes or more per week and eating a healthy diet in the 4,630 study participants. Results were presented Sept. 14 at the American Heart Association (AHA) Council on Hypertension, AHA Council on Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease, American Society of Hypertension Joint Scientific Sessions in San Francisco.

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Heart Disease in African-American Women

Splashing a little bit of water on her face didn’t calm Shermane Winters-Wofford’s first date jitters. And then what she perceived as nervousness escalated into sweating and tightness in her chest.

Although she didn’t experience the typical warning signs, Shermane was having a stroke.

A stroke? How could it be? After all, she thought of herself as perfectly healthy. But it turns out Shermane had been at risk all along. Like many other African-American women, she had a strong family history of high blood pressure and heart disease. Unfortunately, she didn’t discover this until it was almost too late.

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