According to new research from Harvard Medical School, the single biggest factor in lowering high blood pressure in women is body weight.
In this study, a team of researchers looked at data from 83,882 women in the Nurses' Health Study (1991-2005). The goal was to assess the impact that various diet and lifestyle factors had, in combination, on the risk of high blood pressure.
The study focused on six factors, previously tied to a reduced risk of high blood pressure: normal body weight, vigorous exercise for an average of 30 minutes per day, consuming a healthy diet, modest alcohol intake, use of pain medications less than once per week, and use of supplemental folic acid, a form of vitamin B.
Women who adhered to at least three of the six factors cut the risk of high blood pressure by up to 78 percent relative to women who did have any healthy lifestyle practices.
Women who were obese were almost five times more likely to develop high blood pressure than were women of normal body weight.
In conclusion, this study's authors say new cases of high blood pressure could be prevented sticking to low-risk dietary factors such as eating a healthy diet that's high in vegetables and fruits and low in alcohol and use of supplemental folic acid.
For more information on diet and high blood pressure, check out Leslie Beck's Heart Healthy Foods for Life.
This study was published in the July 29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.