Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure
High Cholesterol Leads to High Blood Pressure
Studies show that those with higher than normal levels of cholesterol – LDL, the bad cholesterol – have a greater chance of being hypertensive when followed up 10 years later. If left untreated, that high cholesterol may result in high blood pressure even earlier.
Too much LDL leads to plaque formation in the walls of arteries and other blood vessels. These vessels become narrow and less elastic, and the impeded blood flow prompts the heart to work more - thereby increasing blood pressure. Vessels then strengthen and harden to accommodate the extra pressure - which means the heart needs to pump enven harder. It's a vicious circle.
If you are diagnosed with hypertension, taking extra control of your cholesterol levels will benefit you greatly. If you have high cholesterol, early management will reduce your risk of developing hypertension.
The great news is that many of the lifestyle changes that work for hypertension also work for reducing cholesterol:
- Stop smoking. And stay away from second hand smoke.
- Do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
- Choose a diet that is more plant based and not processed. A variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Cut down on sweet and high fat foods.