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High blood pressure prevention

About one in every three adults in the UK has high blood pressure, also called hypertension.

High blood pressure increases a person's risk of heart disease and heart failure, stroke, and kidney problems.

High blood pressure usually has no warning signs or symptoms. Fortunately you can find out if you have high blood pressure by having your blood pressure checked regularly. Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every 5 years.

How can I help prevent high blood pressure?

You can help prevent high blood pressure by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight makes the heart work harder and raises blood pressure. For people who are overweight, even small amounts of weight loss can make a big difference in helping to prevent and treat high blood pressure.
  • Getting regular exercise : People who are physically active have a lower risk of getting high blood pressure. The NHS advises doing at least 150 minutes of exercise a week.
  • Cut down on salt : There's a link between how much salt we eat and blood pressure. Try to eat less than 6g of salt a day (about a teaspoonful) a day.
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all: Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. The NHS says regularly drinking above recommended daily limits risks damaging your health. Men and women should not regularly drink more than 14 units a week.
  • Reducing stress: Stress can make blood pressure go up. Over time, stress may contribute to the cause of high blood pressure. Relaxation therapy techniques and exercise can help reduce blood pressure.
  • Limit caffeine : Blood pressure may be increased by drinking more than four cups of coffee a day. Consider going decaf. Remember, caffeine is also found in tea, cola, some energy drinks and even some medicines.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on June 21, 2017

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