Blood Pressure Home > High Blood Pressure Prevention
Reducing the controllable risk factors is important for high blood pressure prevention. In fact, lifestyle changes that affect these risk factors can not only help prevent high blood pressure, but in those who already have the condition, these lifestyle changes can help lower blood pressure as well.
Some of these changes may include:
- Weight loss
- Following a healthy diet (eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods)
- Cutting down on the salt in your diet
- Drinking less alcohol.
It may take three to six months before you see the full benefit of lifestyle changes. Also, adopting a healthy lifestyle does not guarantee that you will not develop high blood pressure. Unfortunately, the risk factors that you cannot control will influence your chances of developing high blood pressure. But in most cases, by adopting a healthy lifestyle and reducing controllable risk factors, your blood pressure will be less than it would be otherwise.
(Click Lower Blood Pressure for more information about these prevention strategies.)
High blood pressure is a factor in a number of the most common conditions people develop as they get older. Lowering blood pressure will reduce the chances of a person developing these life-threatening or life-altering conditions. Some examples of the impact of high blood pressure include:
- High blood pressure is a factor in 67 percent of heart attacks in the United States.
- High blood pressure is a factor in 77 percent of strokes -- the third leading cause of death in the United States.
- High blood pressure precedes 74 percent of cases of heart failure in the United States.
- High blood pressure is the second leading cause of chronic kidney failure in the United States -- responsible for 26 percent of all cases.
- High blood pressure affects circulation -- creating a higher risk for mental deterioration and Alzheimer's.
- High blood pressure causes more visits to doctors than any other condition -- just a 10 percent decline in the number of visits would save $478 million each year.
- High blood pressure and its complications cost the U.S. economy more than $100 billion each year.