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Hourly Wage Linked With Hypertension Risk: Study

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The Creeper
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« on: January 07, 2013, 01:57:21 am »

Hourly Wage Linked With Hypertension Risk: Study

Posted: 01/06/2013 11:51 pm EST

The amount you make per hour could play a role in your heart health, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, found an association between earning low hourly wages and an increased hypertension risk, particularly among two groups of people: younger adults between 25 and 44, and women. Hypertension increases risk of deadly conditions like stroke and heart attack.

The findings, published in the European Journal of Public Health, were surprising since these two groups are "not typically associated with hypertension, which is more often linked with being older and male," study researcher J. Paul Leigh, a professor of public health sciences at the university, said in a statement. "Our outcome shows that women and younger employees working at the lowest pay scales should be screened regularly for hypertension as well."

The research was based on data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which included employment, wages (calculated by taking the yearly income and dividing it by hours worked) and health information from 5,651 households in the United States. The data used in the study was from 1999 to 2001, 2001 to 2003, and 2003 to 2005, from people between the ages of 25 and 65. Researchers didn't use data from people who had high blood pressure in the first year of each time period included in the study.

The researchers found that the lower the hourly wage, the higher the risk of hypertension was.

They also found that if the hourly wage were to be doubled, the high blood pressure risk would decrease by 16 percent. The effect was even more pronounced in younger people -- where it was linked with a 25 to 30 percent lower risk -- and women -- where it was linked with a 30 to 35 percent lower risk.

Of course, the study only shows a link between how much money a person makes and blood pressure levels. But researchers said that the findings shed light on another aspect of how socioeconomics play into health.

For some natural ways to lower blood pressure, click through the slideshow:

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    Meditation can help maintain a calm and focused mind, but one side benefit of that relaxation could also help with blood pressure. When relaxed, the body produces more nitric oxide, <a href="">which in turn helps blood vessels to open up, reducing the pressure of the blood flowing through</a>.
    Adopt A Pet

    Research shows that <a href="">pet owners have lower blood pressure</a> (also: lower cholesterol and heart disease risk), thanks to the anxiety-reducing qualities of an animal companion.
    Work On Your Marriage

    In one 2008 study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, <a href="">researchers found that happily married adults had better blood pressure</a> than happily single and unhappily married adults.
    Get Moving

    This one's a no-brainer, but exercise is one of the best ways to lower blood pressure. There are many ways that the simple act of moderate exercise can improve your blood pressure (and overall health). First, it helps with other risk factors for hypertension, like extra weight and stress. But exercise also improves the strength of your heart so that <a href="">it can more effectively and efficiently pump blood, which lowers the pressure on the arteries</a>.
    Stick To One Or Two Drinks

    Moderate drinking -- one drink for women and men over 65 and two drinks for younger men -- can actually help reduce blood pressure. <a href="">But more than that has the opposite effect</a>, according to the Mayo Clinic.
    Monitor Your Caffeine

    There is some evidence that caffeine can temporarily increase blood pressure, though it's unclear if there is a long-term effect. The <a href="">Mayo Clinic recommends</a> checking blood pressure 30 minutes after a cup of coffee or caffeinated soda to see if the effect remains.
    Quit Smoking -- And Smokers

    Of course, for this and many other reasons, you should quit smoking. But even second-hand smoke can have a damaging effect on your blood pressure <a href="">because it damages arteries</a>.
    Choose Pressure-Lowering Foods

    Several foods have been found to naturally lower blood pressure. Things like chili peppers, chocolate, beans and bananas have all been proven to lower blood pressure in humans or in trials with rats. <a href="">Read on for more here</a>.
    Keep Weight Under Control

    Eating well is essential to maintaining healthy blood pressure, but even if you live on <a href="">beans and bananas</a>, extra pounds could harm you. In fact, one Italian study found that <a href="">hypertension in overweight patients was a secondary condition, caused by the excess weight</a>. In other words, once the weight was lost, the high blood pressure went with it.
    Stay Away From Salt

    Perhaps the best known advice for healthy blood pressure is maintaining a low sodium diet. Follow the <a href="">USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans</a>: a max of 2,300 mg of sodium for healthy, young adults -- or 1,500 mg a day or fewer for those who are over 50, African-American or suffering from diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

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