Blood Pressure Home > Weight and High Blood Pressure
Research demonstrates that weight and high blood pressure are strongly linked. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for developing high blood pressure. Lose even just 10 pounds' worth of weight, and high blood pressure may be improved. Even a small weight loss will help to lower your risk of developing high blood pressure or help you control it if you already have the condition.
Being overweight increases your risk of developing hypertension (also known as high blood pressure). In fact, blood pressure rises as body weight increases. Losing even 10 pounds can lower blood pressure -- and it has the greatest effect for those who are overweight and already have hypertension.
Being overweight or obese are also risk factors for heart disease. They increase your chance for developing high blood cholesterol and diabetes -- two more major risk factors for heart disease.
Two key measurements are used to determine if someone is overweight. These are:
BMI relates weight to height. It gives an approximation of total body fat -- and that's what increases the risk of obesity-related diseases. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9; obesity is defined as a BMI equal to or more than 30.
(Click BMI Calculator to calculate your BMI.)
BMI may overestimate body fat or inaccurately estimate total body fat in muscular persons or those losing muscle. For example, older people often have lost muscle mass and have more fat for a given BMI than younger people do. That's why waist measurement is often checked as well. Also, too much body fat in the stomach area increases your risk for certain disease. A waist measurement of more than 35 inches in women and more than 40 inches in men is considered high.