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Avoid high blood pressure through lifestyle changes

High blood pressure shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it can quietly cause serious heart issues or even death. There are a few steps you can take in your daily life to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. Start by cutting back on your sodium intake. Not only do snacks contain high levels of salt, so do soups, bread, and even pizza crust. Be mindful of what you eat and try to make the majority of your diet whole foods rather than processed ones. Avoiding excessive alcohol use and cutting out tobacco are two other lifestyle steps that reduce your risk. It’s also important to stay active regularly.


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Wealthier Americans more likely to achieve blood pressure reduction

A study from England reviewed the management of hypertension in England and the US. It found that in America, the wealthier are more likely to manage their high blood pressure effectively. By contrast, those in a lower socio-economic class tend to manage the condition poorly. The study found that in England, management was relatively equal among socio-economic groups. The authors attribute this to low cost of care for patients and a stronger primary care system, which they say the US lacks. Given the significant role that hypertension plays in disease, management is crucial. 



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Getting familiar with the new hypertension guidelines

The recently released guidelines on hypertension could have an impact on as many as 7.4 million Americans over the age of 60. The guidelines raise the top number of a blood pressure reading from 140 to 150 in order for it to qualify as hypertension. The bottom number must be at least 90 for it to be considered hypertension. Those with a blood pressure of 140/90 would have previously been given medication. Under the new guidelines, they don’t require treatment and can stop taking medication. 



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Lifestyle changes improve heart health for abdominally obese

We’re told to exercise and follow a nutritious diet in order to improve health and reduce obesity, but until now no studies have examined the long-term benefits of both of these efforts combined. Research from Canada shows that lifestyle changes in these two areas produce significant improvements in heart health. The benefits included improved blood pressure, weight loss, better cholesterol, and better blood glucose control. The program focused on high-intensity interval training and a Mediterranean diet, which included nutritional counseling.


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Walking to work decreases chance of being overweight

Are you able to walk to work? If so, you may want to consider it. Not only will you save money on gas, you’ll reduce your risk of being overweight. It also lowers your risk of high blood pressure by 17 percent. If you don’t live close enough to walk, consider riding your bike or taking public transit instead. Even those who took a bus or train to work experienced the same benefits as those who walked. 



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