Health Watch - Heart Disease: Hypertension

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about heart disease. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease. Managing high blood pressure requires careful attention to what you eat.

People who have blood pressure need to limit the amount of sodium they eat – no more than 1,500 milligrams a day. Dr. Shawna Nesbitt, a hypertension specialist at
UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you can still enjoy the occasional special meal as long as you keep track of your salt intake and make trade-offs. If you know you’re going out to eat or to a party for dinner, eat a breakfast and lunch that are lower in sodium so you don’t go over your salt limit. It’s also important to be consistent about taking blood pressure medication. High blood pressure doesn’t have symptoms until the damage has already been done, so it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.


March 2010

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