How to Live to 110, a guide for all ages on how to stay healthy and live a long life.

Your comprehensive guide to a healthy life

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Next: diabetes

How to protect against high blood pressure, and what to do if your blood pressure is high

How we pump up our blood pressure

(How to avoid - or reduce - high blood pressure)

Roughly one in six people have high blood pressure. It doesn’t produce symptoms until something goes wrong, so many don’t know they’ve got it. But if it is left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can damage your heart, kidneys, brain, eyes and arteries. It’s sometimes called the silent killer.

You can’t feel high blood pressure, but it is simple to find out if you have it. Just visit your family doctor or health centre for an on-the-spot check. Many chemists also provide this service.

Once identified, there is good treatment available to control your blood pressure and reduce the risk of it causing damage.

High blood pressure is a result of the stiffening or narrowing of blood vessels. Many people contribute to this by eating too much salt. The modern diet can include a remarkable amount of salt – not just what you add to your food, but hidden in everything from bread and biscuits to curries and cheese.

Some of the things you can do

Try to cut your salt intake to less than 6 grams a day. That's about a teaspoon in total, but remember that much of it will be hidden in food you buy that has already been cooked or processed. On average, people in the UK are consuming nearly 9 grams a day – that’s 50% too much.

(If a food label lists the amount of sodium, multiply this by 2.5 to get the equivalent amount of salt.)

Keep physically active, as this helps prevent high blood pressure. (Most forms of exercise do not raise blood pressure, despite what is commonly thought.)

Get your blood pressure measured every two years.

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How to Live to 110: Longevity, living longer and the steps to take for a healthy old age