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Two Health Studies Show How Simple Lifestyle Changes can Help

Workaholics probably already know too many hours spent at the office do not contribute to good health. A survey of thousands of Americans confirmed the link between too much work and high blood pressure. VOA's Melinda Smith has more on that study, as well as new findings that daily aspirin may be good for older men worried about prostate problems.

Twenty-four thousand workers in the western state of California, between the ages of 18 and 64, were asked questions about their time in the office and outside. The survey found that many of those who spent long hours behind their desk tended to experience high blood pressure. Seventeen percent of people spending more than 40 hours a week at work reported higher blood pressure, compared to 14 percent of those who worked a normal number of hours or less.

Not surprisingly, researchers concluded that long days at work also left little time for outside recreation and rest. Medical experts say a sedentary lifestyle and little sleep put you at risk for high blood pressure, as do poor eating habits and diabetes.

Older men concerned about an enlarged prostate may also find it is a good idea to take a daily dose of aspirin. A new study indicates that aspirin or ibuprofen can reduce the risk of a medical condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia.

The condition, also known as an enlarged prostate, causes frequent urination, difficulty in urinating or a weak urine stream. One in four men over the age of 40 are said to be affected.

Twenty-five hundred white males were in the study. There was a 50 percent lower risk of developing an enlarged prostate among those who took daily aspirin or ibuprofen. The study said the strength of the aspirin or ibuprofen tablet did not matter. Researchers did not suggest older men take a daily aspirin unless it was already prescribed for other reasons.