Changes in blood pressure affect lifetime heart disease risk

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A recent study on how reducing or increasing blood pressure during middle age and its affect on lifetime heart disease and stroke risk, shows some interesting results. The research was published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The study found that increasing or decreasing blood pressure in middle age can have a significant impact on your lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study found the following highlights, as referenced in the article:

  • Changes in blood pressure during middle age can affect lifetime risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • People who maintain or reduce their blood pressure to normal levels during middle age have the lowest lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease, while those with an increase in blood pressure have the highest risk.
  • Age and duration of blood pressure changes can help determine individualized lifetime risk for and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

One of the authors of the study had this to say about the results:

“Since the data suggests that both early elevations and changes over time in blood pressure measurements impact the future risk of CVD, people can take preventive steps early on to reduce their chances of heart attack or stroke,” said Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M., co-author of the study and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“Maintaining a healthy diet, combined with exercise and weight control, can help reduce blood pressure levels and, consequently, your risk for CVD later in life.”

Some good advice there. Definitely something that we should all consider.

You can read more about the study here.

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