High blood pressure could be caused by being overweight in as many as 50 per cent of cases, a new Italian study suggests.
After six months on a reduced-calorie diet, half of overweight, hypertensive adults under observation achieved normal body weight and blood pressure.
Some 49 percent of female and 53 percent of male participants achieved body weight reduction and normalization, representing more than 5 per cent weight loss, researchers said.
The study also found a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure of about 5 per cent.
Senior author Dr Roberto Fogari said: "This is important because it means that in these patients with elevated blood pressure who were overweight, the blood pressure was not a form of essential hypertension but was hypertension secondary to body weight.
"These findings apply to western societies in general, but only to overweight patients, not to obese patients, with high blood pressure."
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