High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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High blood pressure is accountable for a great number of strokes around the world, causing one in eight deaths worldwide. The condition is mainly managed with medicine, but diet can also heavily impact blood readings. According to new findings, exposure to chemicals present in several cosmetics may raise the odds of the condition by 71 percent.
The new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, suggests exposure to two human-made chemicals may increase the likelihood of high blood pressure in middle-aged women.
The study authors wrote: “Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous synthetic chemicals that may disrupt blood pressure controls; however, human evidence to support this hypothesis is scant.”
PFAS are abundant in foundations, eye products, lipid products and mascaras.
Last year, a study conducted by the University of Notre Dame, discovered that 56 percent of foundations or eye products contain PFAS.
READ MORE: High blood pressure: The fruit and veg that can raise hypertension – eat ‘less often’
What’s more, the chemical was present in 48 percent of lip products and 47 percent of mascaras sampled in the study.
For the latest research, scientists set out to examine the association between serum concentrations of PFAS and the risk of developing hypertension.
Using blood samples for 1,058 midlife women, who were initially hypertension free, the team focussed on measuring PFAS concentrations.
The analysis showed that women with higher concentrations of PFAS in their blood were significantly more likely to develop hypertension.
In fact, data revealed that participants with the higher one-third concentrations of all seven PFAS examined had a 71 percent increased likelihood of high blood pressure.
They concluded: “Several PFAS showed position associations with the incidence of hypertension.”
The lead author of the study, Ning Ding, a post-doctoral fellow in the department of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, said in a statement: “Women seem to be particularly vulnerable when exposed to these chemicals.
“Our study is the first to examine the association between ‘forever chemicals’ and hypertension in middle-aged women.
“Exposure may be an under-appreciated risk factor for women’s cardiovascular disease risk.
“These findings suggest that PFAS might be an underappreciated contributing factor to women’s cardiovascular disease risk.”
The website Chem Trust recently listed a range of consumer products that contain harmful PFAS.
According to the body, they are found in:
- Paper and cardboard food packaging (Takeaway containers, popcorn bags, pizza boxes, ready-made cakes)
- Non-stick cookware
- Textiles (Waterproof outdoor clothing and equipment, carpets, mattresses)
- Cosmetics (Hair condition, foundation cream, suncreams)
Sung Kyun Park, another senior author of the study, said in a statement that the collective impact of exposure to several PFAS has a much stronger effect on blood pressure.
High blood pressure is diagnosed when the blood inside the arteries exerts enough force against the arterial walls to cause a rupture or blood clot.
The condition is commonplace in Britain, despite ongoing efforts from health bodies to seize control of the condition.
Unfortunately, the absence of symptoms in hypertension makes it invisible to many, so it’s important to have your blood reading checked by your GP on a regular basis.
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