Diet and High Blood Pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common problem in this modern time. The causes of high blood pressure are multifactorial. Common causes of high blood pressure are excess intake of refined foods (fats especially saturated fatty acids, fried food, high cholesterol diet etc.), excess intake of common salt (sodium chloride), tension in modern lifestyle, lack of exercise etc. Diet plays an important role in causation of hypertension. These days’ fast foods are very popular and fast foods are high in fat as well as refined food.

Intake of salt is one of the most important factors in causation of high blood pressure, which is proved by many clinical studies on some of the African tribes who do not consume any salt. The incidence of high blood pressure is almost nil among the tribes where salt is not consumed. This simple observation proves that salt plays an important role in causation of high blood pressure. Low dietary intakes of calcium and potassium may also contribute to the risk of hypertension.

One of the important factors in hypertension is obesity and obesity is mainly due to excess eating, although genetics and environment plays an important role in causation of obesity. In on study it was found that more than 60% hypertensive people are more than 20% overweight.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is “the lateral pressure that is exerted by the blood volume on the blood vessel wall”.

Problems of hypertension:

Hypertension doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease (CHD), congestive heart failure (CHF), ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke and renal failure. If hypertension is associated with diabetes, obesity and other chronic problems the risk is multiplied several times in compare to normal individuals.

Epidemiology of hypertension:

Worldwide high blood pressure accounts for approximately 6% of total deaths. Environmental and genetic factors contribute to regional and racial variations of blood pressure and hypertension prevalence in a society. In the United States, based the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) results, 28.7% of U.S. adults (which means more than 58.4 million individuals), have hypertension ( as per following definition of hypertension: systolic blood pressure of more than 140 mmHg; diastolic blood pressure 90 mmHg; taking antihypertensive medications). Hypertension increases with age and its prevalence is more than 65% among people aged more than 60 years.

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1 Comment

  • Molly Saccone April 19, 2011 07.41 am

    I arrived here because this blog page was tweeted by a fellow I had been following and feel extremely pleased I made it here.

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