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Study finds that lower blood pressure may not mean fewer heart risks

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(NaturalNews) A recent study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine has found that those with blood pressure that falls below the "normal" systolic number (top number) of 120 do not obtain any more heart-related health benefits than those with numbers within the normal range (120-140). (1) It's a commonly held thought that numbers below 120 are indicative of better health, which has been associated with an even less likelihood of developing heart-related problems.

However, a study by experts from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center shows that "lower" does not automatically translate to "better." The study analyzed nearly 4,500 people over the course of 22 years and found that those with systolic readings of 140 and above had more cardiac events. (1) However, there was no difference in heart attack, heart failure or stroke risk between people with a normal reading (120-140) and individuals with levels below 120.

Lower blood pressure does not automatically decrease heart risks

Dr. Carlos J. Rodriguez, the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center associate professor of epidemiology and medicine who was also the study leader, says that less is not always more. "[T]he notion of 'lower is better' across the board should probably be questioned," he said, urging everyone to speak with their doctor to do what works best for health.

The American Heart Association says that nearly one in every three U.S. adults has high blood pressure (2).

The Association currently states that blood pressure "should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg (less than 120 systolic AND less than 80 diastolic) for an adult age 20 or over," (2) reflecting the long-held belief that numbers lower than this already-low ideal bring additional health benefits.

For those struggling with high blood pressure, it's advised to engage in healthy habits such as stress reduction, weight management and quitting smoking. Eating certain foods can also help a person stay on top of their levels. Spinach, pineapple and cucumbers are just some of the foods that have been shown to help regulate blood pressure. (3) Such foods help keep blood vessels healthy and are also low in sodium, two important factors in preventing hypertension.

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://well.blogs.nytimes.com

(2) http://www.heart.org

(3) http://rawandnaturalhealth.com

About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. >>> Click here to see more by Antonia

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