Hypertension and how to avoid it

Written by: Mr Masood Khan
Published: | Updated: 03/02/2020
Edited by: Alex Rolandi

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects around 1 in 4 people in the UK, although many may be unaware they even have it as it often has no symptoms. It is a like a ticking bomb if left untreated, that can give rise to much more serious and even deadly conditions such as strokes, heart attacks, and vascular dementia. The only way to know you have high blood pressure, and therefore avoid this often ‘silent killer’, is by having your blood pressure taken. Expert cardiologist, Mr Masood Khan, gives us his advice on how to reduce and avoid hypertension.

What causes high blood pressure?

The exact cause of high blood pressure is not always certain, and often varies from individual to individual. A lot of the time it is the result of lifestyle choices. The more fast food you eat, for example, the more you are at risk of high blood pressure. Other known risk factors of hypertension are:


  • Being over the age of 65
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being related to someone who has high blood pressure
  • Eating too much salt and not enough fruit or vegetables
  • Not exercising enough
  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Too much caffeine
  • Not getting enough sleep or sleeping badly
  • Being of Caribbean or African descent
  • Stress


How to reduce blood pressure

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, there are a number of things that can be done in order to try and reduce it. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with high blood pressure, these simple tips can help you lead a healthier life and minimise your risk of developing the condition.


  • Lose weight/stay in shape – as weight increases, blood pressure often increases as well. Staying in shape is a simple way of keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level
  • Eat healthily – A diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and minimal saturated fat or cholesterol has been proven to lower blood pressure by 14mm Hg
  • Avoid smoking – or if you do smoke, try to quit. After each cigarette smoked, blood pressure increases for a few minutes after. Quitting smoking can greatly increase life expectancy
  • Cut down on caffeine – people who are more susceptible to the effects of caffeine are more likely to have increased blood pressure if they drink regularly
  • Try to relax – living a stressful life not only isn’t any fun, it’s also bad for your health
  • Exercise regularly – it will do a world of wonders, not just for blood pressure, but for general wellbeing as well
  • Cut down on sodium – processed foods or foods high in salt have been known to have a significant effect on blood pressure

Of course, it’s not always easy to lower blood pressure once you have been diagnosed. In some cases, a specialist may prescribe medications depending on your age and how high your blood pressure is. 

By Mr Masood Khan

Mr Masood Khan is a top London cardiologist, serving as consultant, lead consultant, and clinician in various London hospitals. A Cambridge graduate, he completed his training in London and East Anglia, and then spent three years working at Imperial College London as full time research fellow.

His special areas of interest include palpitations, dizzy spells and high blood pressure. He is a member of many prestigious boards and associations including the British Cardiovascular Society and the British cardiovascular intervention Society.

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Overall assessment of their patients

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