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High Blood Pressure Revisited So we're getting older Dave… or at least you are.

You have more gray than me!

Well — You have more girth than me! Anyway, as I was saying, now that we are getting older should we just accept that high blood pressure is inevitable in the coming years?

No. Good point though because many Americans may believe it's just a regular part of aging. It isn't.

Preventing high blood pressure is important because the condition can lead to heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. In most cases however the disease can be prevented and controlled.

The causes of high blood pressure vary. They can include narrowing of the arteries, a greater than normal volume of blood, or the heart beating faster or more forcefully than it should. Any of these conditions will cause increased pressure against the artery walls.

Hypertension is very common in African Americans, who may get it earlier in life and more often than Caucasians. Overall, middle-aged Americans face a ninety percent chance of developing high blood pressure during their lives. Others at risk are the overweight, those with a family history and prehypertension.

Did you know even babies and children can have hypertension? Primary hypertension in children can be inherited, caused by excess weight, or in some cases it's unexplainable.

Children with heart or kidney disease can also develop increased blood pressure. This can also happen in adults.

Most of us can do a lot to prevent high blood pressure. Make an effort to live a healthy lifestyle. Become physically active; follow a healthy eating plan that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy foods; eat less salt.

We Americans typically use way too much salt. A healthy diet should include no more than one teaspoon a day. By controlling your blood pressure, you can help yourself to live longer and healthier.

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For more information…

The Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of virtually every type of complex illness. The Mayo Clinic website has extensive information written for the lay public. Their web pages on high blood pressure starts here.

For seniors, the National Insitutes of Health (NIH) has a web page with information about high blood pressure.

MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news. They have an excellent web page about hypertension. From there you can go to an excellent and informative interactive tutorial.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has a website that has some advice for lowering your blood pressure.

For information about high blood pressure in children go here.


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