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4 Your Health: Americans not living as long - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

4 Your Health: Americans not living as long

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Tucson- Although it has only dipped slightly, the life expectancy of people in the U.S. is going down.

A new government report reveals the average life expectancy dropped from 78.9 to 78.8 years in 2015.

The ten leading causes of death did not change though, topped by heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease. There was also no significant change in the infant mortality rate.

Duke University researchers say even small increases in high blood pressure can cause serious health risks.

A study, of over five thousand black adults, found higher systolic blood pressure was linked to an increased risk of heart failure. And with every ten point increase in systolic blood pressure the risk of early death increased by 12 percent.

But there are steps people can take to lower those numbers. Yoga can help lower blood pressure in people with pre-hypertension.

Researchers, in India, had patients with slightly elevated blood pressure to do an hour of Hatha yoga a day, along with diet and other lifestyle changes. Their diastolic blood pressure dropped an average of five points, compared to patients treated with lifestyle changes alone. Just a two point decrease in blood pressure can lower the risk of stroke by 15-percent.

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