Are you a high blood pressure patient? Here’s another reason to take care of your diet and lifestyle. If the findings of a latest study are to be believed, if your blood pressure has been consistently on a higher side for some time, you may have an increased risk of aortic valve disease (AVD) - problems with the valve that controls how blood is pumped from the left ventricle of the heart out into the main artery, the aorta.
The study that was conducted by European Society of Cardiology revealed that above a systolic blood pressure of 115 mmHg, every additional 20 mmHg was associated with a 41 percent higher risk of aortic stenosis (AS) and a 38 percent higher risk of aortic regurgitation (AR) later in life. Compared to people who had a systolic blood pressure of 120 mmHg or lower, those with a systolic blood pressure of 161 mmHg or higher had more than twice the risk of being diagnosed with AS and were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with AR during follow-up.
Researchers emphasised the need of controlling blood pressures especially for those for whom the problem has been a long term one. The threshold currently defined for hypertension is of 140/90 mmHg.
Aortic stenosis is a condition in which the valve that opens and closes when blood is pumped out of the left ventricle becomes narrowed and stiff due to calcium build-ups. The condition can restrict the blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body.
In the follow-up that ran for nine years 20,680 of the 5.4 million patients in the study were diagnosed with AS alone and 6440 were diagnosed with AR alone.
The average age at the time of diagnosis was 64 years and 57 years for AS and AR respectively.
Participants in the study were aged between 30 and 90 years, and none had any known heart or blood vessel diseases at the time of their earliest blood pressure measurement.
While age does play a role in your heart health, but the study shows that serious valvular heart diseases that are common in old age are not simply due to aging.
The findings published in the Journal of European Heart stated that high blood pressure blood pressure is a strong and potentially modifiable risk factor for aortic stenosis.
Here are some Diet Tips and Foods You Must Ensure To Manage Blood Pressure Levels
1. Eat less sodium: Salt makes your body retain water. The excess water puts stress on your heart and blood vessels, which further makes them constrict and cause a surge in blood pressure levels.
2. Include more potassium rich foods: Potassium can cancel out the ill-effects of sodium and regulate blood pressure levels.
3. Sleep well: Studies have found that the fewer hours of sleep you get, the higher your blood pressure is.
Foods to eat to manage blood pressure levels.
Spinach is packed with lutein. Lutein prevents thickening of walls of arteries, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks and blood pressure. Moreover, spinach is packed with potassium, folate and magnesium, which further ensures that your blood pressure levels are in check.
2. Berries. Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids which are crucial to manage blood pressure levels and overall heart health.
3. Olive oil: Ditch unhealthy refined oil and go for this Mediterranean wonder. It contains polyphenols, which are inflammation-fighting compounds that can help reduce blood pressure.
4. Oats: Oats make for an excellent high-fibre, low-fat, and low-sodium food that high BP patients must include in their diet. You can have them in form of oatmeal or sneak them into idlis and other snacks.
5. Bananas: Bananas are extremely low in sodium; and very rich potassium. You can have them alone, or add it to your cereal, cake, bread, smoothies and milkshakes.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.