Home » A surprising factor increases the risk of high blood pressure by 11 percent

A surprising factor increases the risk of high blood pressure by 11 percent

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A surprising factor increases the risk of high blood pressure by 11 percent

High blood pressure is a widespread disease. In Germany alone, 20 to 30 million people suffer from it. Not only adults have been affected by this, but also children. According to the German High Pressure League eV, four to five out of 100 children already have elevated values. In addition to family history, risk factors for high blood pressure include:

Obesity, lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, too much salt, obstructive sleep apnea – reduced breathing and pauses in breathing during sleep

Researchers analyzed data from over a million people

But lack of sleep also seems to be a risk factor. Some studies have already suggested this. Now, a new meta-study from the American College of Cardiology shows that sleeping less than seven hours is actually a risk factor for high blood pressure.

To do this, the researchers analyzed data from a total of 16 studies that were carried out between 2000 and 2023. It involved over a million people from six countries who did not have high blood pressure at the start of the study. The follow-up periods ranged from two to 18 years.

Up to 11 percent higher risk of high blood pressure with lack of sleep

When the data was analyzed, the researchers found that sleeping less than seven hours a day

increased risk of high blood pressure. Sleeping less than five hours even increased the risk of high blood pressure

an.

“The less you sleep – less than seven hours a day – the more likely you are to develop high blood pressure in the future,” concluded Kaveh Hosseini, assistant professor of cardiology at the Tehran Heart Center in Iran and principal investigator of the study, in a press release . “It’s also best for your heart to get seven to eight hours of sleep, as sleep experts recommend,” he continued.

The study did not examine why lack of sleep increases blood pressure. But Hosseini assumes that sleep disorders could be the cause – i.e. problems with falling asleep and staying asleep.

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Women are affected significantly more often

But what the researchers could see was that women are more affected than men. “Too little sleep appears to be riskier in women,” Hosseini said. Compared to men, women who sleep less than seven hours were at risk

higher risk of high blood pressure. The difference is therefore statistically significant – whether it is also clinically relevant is unclear. “What we’re seeing is that a lack of good sleep patterns can increase the risk of high blood pressure, which we know can set the stage for heart disease and stroke.”

That’s why the doctor advises those affected to talk to their doctor about the topic of sleep – especially if someone suffers from sleep disorders. If sleep apnea is behind it, it is associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure, strokes and heart disease. However, Hosseini also emphasized that further research is needed to understand the connection between sleep duration and high blood pressure.

Tips against high blood pressure

If you want to avoid high blood pressure, you should pay attention to the following six basic tips from the German Heart Foundation:

Sufficient exercise: Be active for 30 minutes at least five times a week. Particularly good: cycling, walking, swimming.
Avoid being overweight: A weight loss of an average of four kilograms can reduce systolic blood pressure by an average of 4 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 2 mmHg.
Eat little salt: If you save a level teaspoon of salt (around five grams) every day, you can reduce systolic blood pressure by around 6-8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by around 3 mmHg. Studies have shown this.
Drink only a little alcohol: Men should not drink more than 20 grams of alcohol per day, women should not drink more than ten grams. Ten to twelve grams of alcohol correspond to a “standard glass”, i.e. 0.25 liters of beer, 0.1 liters of wine, 0.1 liters of sparkling wine or 0 .33 liter mixed beer drink.
Avoid stress: Stress, whether professional or personal, increases blood pressure.
Do not smoke: Blood pressure drops just one week after quitting smoking. Two years later, an ex-smoker has almost the same risk of cardiovascular disease as a lifelong non-smoker.

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