High blood pressure – get the facts
Considering that nearly half of all U.S. adults have high blood pressure, it’s a common health condition that many people should know more about. In many cases, people with high blood pressure don’t feel any symptoms. Yet, high blood pressure can injure arteries, limit blood flow, and cause organ damage. In fact, high blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke and a key risk factor for heart attack and heart disease.
Health disparities for high blood pressure also exist across racial and ethnic groups. For example, African Americans age 35 to 64 are 50% more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure compared to white Americans. These factors should be taken into account when assessing high blood pressure risk.
The good news is that high blood pressure can be managed, and even prevented for some, by taking a few healthy steps.
How can high blood pressure be prevented?
Some people are able to prevent high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle changes. Sticking with changes can take time – but hard work pays off. It can help to get support from a doctor or friends and family. Some people benefit from starting slowly and trying one change at a time.
Lifestyle changes may include:
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends exercising at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. But know shorter sessions count, too! Check with a doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Eating a healthy diet that is low in sodium
Maintaining a healthy weight
Limiting alcohol intake
Getting adequate sleep
- Prevent and treat disease
- Lose weight
- Manage stress
- Sleep better
- Eat healthier
- Stop smoking
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