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Heavy drinking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity up risk of hypertension

02 Nov 2019

The combination of unhealthy lifestyle factors, including heavy alcohol drinking, sedentary-level physical activity, low dietary adherence and overweight/obesity, showed a robust association with hypertension, a recent study has shown.

A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using data from the population-based cohort study CONSTANCES. The authors obtained blood pressure measurements based on standardized operational procedures. Dietary adherence was carried out following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

Unhealthy behaviours were characterized by the following: heavy alcohol drinking, a sedentary lifestyle, low/medium dietary adherence and overweight/obesity. Participants characteristics were compared based on the number of unhealthy lifestyle factors. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association between hypertension and unhealthy behaviours.

Of the 86,448 volunteer participants included in the analysis, 31.1 percent had hypertension. Among hypertensive individuals, 8.2 percent had no unhealthy behaviour, while 33.0 percent, 44.3 percent and 14.5 percent exhibited one, two or at least three unhealthy behaviours, respectively.

Hypertension prevalence was higher with low/medium dietary adherence compared with high (p<0.01), in overweight/obese compared with normal body mass index (p<0.001), with heavy alcohol drinking compared with moderate or never (p<0.05), and with sedentary physical activity level compared with high (in women only; p=0.049).

Combined unhealthy behaviours strongly correlated with a higher risk of hypertension (p-trend<0.001). Men reporting two or at least three unhealthy behaviours had a 77- and 29-percent increased risk, while women had a 71- and 14-percent higher risk, respectively.

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