Tackle your blood pressure to reverse heart disease risk
You can cut your risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure in later life by lowering your blood pressure now, research says. Any damage to the heart so far is reversible if you don’t leave it too late.
A report in Hypertension Journal of the American Heart Association found middle-aged women who smoke, have high systolic blood pressure and high cholesterol are at the biggest risk of heart disease that is actually preventable.
Reversible heart disease is found in almost 36% of women compared to 24% of men, as measured by 24-hour systolic blood pressure monitoring.
In addition, a 15 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure increased the risk of heart disease by a whopping 56%.
“I was surprised by the study findings that highlight the missed opportunities for prevention of heart disease in older women,” said Dr Jan Staessen, director of the Studies Coordinating Center in the Division of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation at the University of Leuven in Belgium.
He recommends that women and physicians become ‘more aggressive’ in diagnosing and treating high systolic blood pressure.
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