Health Advice



Standing up for your heart -- and kidney -- health

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

A researcher recently looked at U.S. senators' and representatives' wilder moments in congressional committee hearings and discovered that it's much to their advantage to hog the spotlight by badmouthing the other side and aggressively grilling witnesses. The study, published in the Journal of Politics, revealed that such grandstanding increased their share of the vote in their next election by 6.6%.

On the other hand, all that grandstanding might raise your blood pressure. So might simply standing up. A new study in Hypertension tracked young and middle-aged folks with high blood pressure for 17 years. The researchers found that if participants' systolic blood pressure (the top number) went up by 6.5 mmHg or more when they stood up, compared to the reading they got while sitting, they had a whopping 97% greater risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney dysfunction as they aged than people who didn't register such a reaction to standing up.

What does this mean to you? Whenever you go to your doctor, no matter if you're 25 or 55, you should have your blood pressure checked twice -- while sitting and then while standing. If you discover you have what's called orthostatic hyper-reactivity, then you know you need to be aggressive about lowering your blood pressure starting right away. No waiting until you are older. The best way is through lifestyle changes (not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, getting lots of physical activity, practicing stress management daily, and eating a plant-based diet), as well as taking medication if needed.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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