Updated 07 July 2014

Hypertension and your weight

All your questions about hypertension and obesity answered.

What is the link between hypertension and obesity?
The seemingly inevitable rise in blood pressure as we age is much more pronounced in the developed world. Western diet and lifestyle habits seem to be the root cause. This is due to arteriosclerosis, the stiffening of blood vessels that is caused by elevated blood fats.

What is the role of body-shape?
If you tend to carry excess weight around the waist, you are more “apple-shaped”. Men especially, tend to gain weight around the belly. The fat in this abdominal area is more metabolically active. The fats are released in the circulation and ends up in the blood vessels. This body shape is associated with greater health risks, particularly cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Measuring and keeping an eye on your waist circumference is very helpful. In the typical female shape, fat is mainly confined to the hips, buttons and thighs. This “pear-shaped” body seems to have a lower health risk.


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Hypertension expert

Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.

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