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  • How does high blood pressure affect life insurance?
  • March 11, 2014
  • High blood pressure: fact or fiction?

    1.       Only nervous people get high blood pressure. False. A particularly stressful situation will cause a momentary peak in high blood pressure, but there is no proof that stress leads to ongoing high blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic.

    2.       Like mom or dad, like their kids. False. There is not one particular gene that causes high blood pressure, but family history does play one of several parts in determining if you are at risk, said Dr. Jacki Goldstein, vice president and chief medical officer with MetLife’s insurance products.

    3.       Eating lima beans lowers your blood pressure. Goldstein said that while a good diet can help, increased potassium intake does not have that great an effect. What works better, she says, is to keep sodium intake down.

    4.       All factors that cause high blood pressure can be controlled. False. Goldstein said while diet and medications can control high blood pressure, family history and aging are two factors that are out of anyone’s control.

    5.       Eating frozen diet foods will help lower your blood pressure. Not necessarily. Goldstein says while being overweight is a contributing factor, so is salt, and some frozen prepared foods are high in salt. Be sure to read the label to make sure the product is not high in sodium, she says.

    To learn more about your risk for high blood pressure, look at the American Heart Association’s Risk Calculator.

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