A rise in blood pressure during middle age significantly raises the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke during a person’s lifetime, report Northwestern University School of Medicine (Illinois, USA) researchers. Norrina Allen and colleagues analyzed data from 61,585 participants in the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project. Starting with baseline blood pressure readings at age 41, researchers measured blood pressure again at age 55, then followed the patients until the occurrence of a first heart attack or stroke, death or age 95.
Men who developed high blood pressure in middle age or who started out with high blood pressure had a 70% risk of having a heart attack or stroke, compared to a 41% risk for men who maintained low blood pressure or whose blood pressure decreased during the time period.
Women who developed high blood pressure had almost a 50% risk of a heart attack or stroke, compared to a 22% risk for those who kept their blood pressure low or saw a decrease.
People that maintain or reduce their blood pressure to normal levels by age 55 have the lowest lifetime risk for a heart attack or a stroke.
I urge my patient’s to prevent high blood pressure through exercise, diet and nutrition efforts. I will be happy to discuss this with you.