HealthNotes: Blog Edition

May is National High Blood Pressure Education & Stroke Awareness Month

May 8, 2019

According to the CDC, high blood pressure affects 1 in 3 Americans, yet many people with high blood pressure aren’t even aware that they have it. Uncontrolled blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke and increases your risk for kidney disease. Approximately 7 of every 10 people having their first heart attack have high blood pressure, and approximately 8 of every 10 people having their first stroke have high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association / American Stroke Association lists the following risk factors that increase your chances of developing high blood pressure. Some you can control, and some you can’t: Those that can be controlled are:

  • Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Diabetes
  • Being obese or overweight
  • High cholesterol
  • Unhealthy diet (high in sodium, low in potassium, and drinking too much alcohol
  • Physical inactivity

Factors that cannot be modified or are difficult to control are:

  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Increasing age
  • Gender (males)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

The CDC suggests living a healthy lifestyle to help keep blood pressure in a healthy range and lower risk for heart disease and stroke. A healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Eating a healthy diet that’s low in sodium (salt), saturated fat, and trans fat
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Getting enough physical activity
  • Not smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke
  • Limiting alcohol use to no more than two drinks a day if you’re a man and one drink if you’re a woman
Posted on Categories: Disease Prevention

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