Rich Men Are Twice as Likely to Have This Deadly Condition, Study Finds

If you make more than this in income, you may need to be worried about your health.

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Many people dream of wealth, while others have already secured more money than they could possibly use in one lifetime. But sometimes, it truly is "more money, more problems." In fact, your income may play a part in your health. According to new research, rich men are actually twice as likely to have this deadly health condition: high blood pressure.

The Japanese study, which was presented at the 84th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society in early August, examined the relationship between household income and blood pressure by observing 4,314 employees with daytime jobs—all of whom started their work in 2012 with normal blood pressure levels. Researchers divided the workers into four groups, according to annual household income: less than around $48,000 (5 million Japanese yen), $48,000 to around $76,500 (8 million Japanese yen), $76,500 to $95,500 (10 million Japanese yen), and then $95,500 or more per year.

Over a two year period, researchers found that the men who made more than $95,500 were twice as likely to develop high blood pressure as men in the lowest income category, making less than $48,000 a year. Men in the middle income ranges still had a higher chance of having higher blood pressure, but only about 50 percent higher.

"High blood pressure is a lifestyle-related disease," Shingo Yanagiya, co-author for the study, said in a press statement. "As a physician seeing these patients, I wanted to know if risk varies with socioeconomic class, to help us focus our prevention efforts."

Doctor taking a pulse at office
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High blood pressure is extremely problematic from a health standpoint. After all, uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in multiple health problems, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease or failure, vision loss, sexual dysfunction, angina, and peripheral artery disease, according to the American Heart Association.

Not only that, but high blood pressure is also known as the "silent killer" because many people don't experience any symptoms or warning signs to indicate that their health is suffering. And that's why it's such a deadly condition. According to the World Health Organization, more than a billion people suffer from high blood pressure globally, and it's one of the major causes of premature death worldwide, killing around eight million people each year.

However, results for the women in the study did not mirror the men's results. In fact, women with higher household income actually tended to have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure, according to the researchers.

"Our study supports this: Men, but not women, with higher household incomes were more likely to be obese and drink alcohol every day. Both behaviors are major risk factors for hypertension," Yanagiya said.

To avoid this deadly condition, Yanagiya recommends that men start to control their behaviors by keeping alcohol consumption at moderate levels and engaging in steps for better health, such as "eating healthily, exercising, and controlling weight." If you're curious as to what else may result in high blood pressure, read on. And for more health tips for men, discover 17 Silent Signs of a Heart Attack Men Can't Afford to Miss.

1
You're a bad sleeper.

Shot of a young man taking his blood pressure while sitting on the sofa at home
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Not getting a good night's sleep won't just make you more tired the next day. A 2019 study published in the Psychosomatic Medicine journal observed 300 men and women who had no history of heart problems. Recording their blood pressure and sleep efficiency, researchers found that after two nights, poor sleepers had increased blood pressure both during their bad night of sleep and the following day. And for more on men's health, learn which 50 Signs of Poor Health Men Should Never Ignore.

2
You're often eating late at night.

eating late health myths
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Late-night eating is bad for your blood pressure. According to a 2018 study led by the American Heart Association, consuming 30 percent or more of a day's calories after 6 p.m. resulted in a 23 percent higher risk of developing high blood pressure or hypertension. And for things about men's health you have to stop believing, these are the 20 Worst Men's Health Myths That Just Won't Die.

3
You're not getting enough vitamin D.

Shot of a doctor checking a patient's blood pressure in a hospital
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Lower levels of vitamin D have been linked to higher blood pressure. A 2014 study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal found that for every 10 percent increase in one's vitamin D levels, there was an 8 percent decrease in the risk of developing high blood pressure. And for more reasons you might need to up your vitamin intake, check out these 20 Surprising Signs You Have a Vitamin Deficiency

4
You're not flossing.

Closeup shot of a doctor checking a patient's blood pressure
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Not flossing can have more implications than a stern lecture from your dentist. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that poor oral hygiene can actually lead to high blood pressure. Moderate to severe gum disease resulted in a 22 to 49 percent risk of high blood pressure. And for more useful content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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