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Don’t let the pressure get to you…

Actually, I’m talking about blood pressure.

Why? Because today is World Health Day and this year's theme is high blood pressure, which affects 1 in 3 adults worldwide. Doctors call it hypertension, but we prefer the English version.

On this blog we’re particularly interested in the effects of high blood pressure because having high blood pressure means you’ll pay more for your life insurance, not to mention dying earlier than you probably should. Most people want neither.

Some stats…

  • In the US (ok, I know this is New Zealand), an estimated 1 in 5 people are not aware that they have high blood pressure
  • In over 90% of cases, there is no single cause for the high blood pressure - suggesting the problem is a combination of lifestyle factors.
  • Back in New Zealand, around 1 in 3 people over age 45 are ‘walking around’ with high blood pressure. (Are you)
  • If you’re overweight and drink alcohol, your chances of developing high blood pressure increase by 57%.
  • High blood pressure increases your risk of heart, stroke, kidney and blood vessel disease and these disease accounts for 40% of all annual deaths in New Zealand.

But all’s not lost. Here are some tips for preventing or reducing high blood pressure:

  • Reduce your salt intake
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Use alcohol in moderation
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke

Most importantly, do you know your blood pressure?

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