Overweight individuals are at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure. However, researchers have reported that losing weight can reduce their blood pressure to a normal, healthy range. How it happens is still not clear but researchers feel that losing body fat probably makes it easier for the heart to pump blood through the smaller blood vessel. In addition to this, weight loss may also help in limiting sodium retention and improve the body’s ability to use insulin- both of which are essential for blood pressure control.
In order to establish a link between the changes in weight and waist circumference and changes in blood pressure, the researchers collected data from a large number of people participating in an ongoing heart disease study. All the participants had high blood pressure (measuring 140/90 mmHg or higher) and were in the age group of 45-64 years. The participants went through an annual check-up for their blood pressure, weight and waist circumference over a 9-year period.
At the end of the study it was observed that those people who lost some weight also showed favorable changes in their blood pressure. Participants who lost > 3 kg over 9 year period were two times more likely to have normal blood pressure reading at the end the study. A weight loss of < 3 kg was also associated with lower blood pressure readings. The researchers also found that participants in the age group of 45-55 years were more likely to have normal blood pressure readings if they succeeded in slimming their waistlines. However, participants who gained weight (> 6 kg) during the study were more likely to have high blood pressure at the end of the study.
Hence, the above study shows that even modest changes in body weight can have a significant effect on high blood pressure. Therefore, if you are overweight and have high blood pressure, giving attention to lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise can definitely help you in losing weight and controlling your blood pressure.