New risk factor for high blood pressure in men – and it could raise risk by 50 percent

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High blood pressure affects about a third of adults in the UK. Although symptoms are rarely noticeable, if left untreated, it can increase the risk of serious health problems including heart attacks and strokes. Researchers have previously identified different health-related risk factors that can increase the risk of the condition, including weight, alcohol consumption and smoking. However, a new study has suggested that working men with higher incomes may be at greater risk of developing high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is the leading global cause of premature death, accounting for almost 10 million deaths in 2015.

To further understand different risk factors for the condition, researchers in Japan set out to examine the relationship between household income and high blood pressure in Japanese employees.

They drew on data from a total of 4,314 workers with daytime jobs and normal blood pressure, from 12 different workplaces.

Workers were divided into four groups according to their annual household income, and were followed over the course of two years.

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The findings showed that men in the highest income group were nearly twice as likely to develop high blood pressure compared with men in the lowest income category.

Results were consistent regardless of age and were independent of baseline blood pressure, worksite, occupation, number of family members and smoking.

Doctor Shingo Yanagiya, of the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan, concluded: “Men with high-paying daytime jobs are at particular risk of high blood pressure.

“This applies to men of all ages, who can greatly decrease their chance of a heart attack or stroke by improving their health behaviours.”

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels.

Health experts say the condition can be improved with simple lifestyle tweaks.

Doctor Yanagiya added: “Men with higher incomes need to improve their lifestyles to prevent high blood pressure.”

“Steps include eating healthily, exercising, and controlling weight. Alcohol should be kept to moderate levels and binge drinking should be avoided.

“High blood pressure is a lifestyle-related disease.

“As a physician seeing these patients I wanted to know if risk varies with socioeconomic class, to help us focus our prevention efforts.”

The researchers also noted that there was no significant link between income and blood pressure in women.

However, women with higher household income tended to have lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

Most people who have high blood pressure do not have symptoms.

In some cases, people may have a pounding feeling in their head or chest, a feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness.

According to Healthline, other symptoms of high blood pressure include:

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds
  • Flushing
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Visual changes
  • Blood in the urine.

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