Health Watch - Preventing Hypertension: Risk Factors

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.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for problems such as heart disease and stroke, and by the time some symptoms appear, it’s already caused damage. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about high blood pressure and what can be done to prevent and deal with it. Some groups are at higher risk than others for developing high blood pressure.

Knowing your family history and keeping track of your blood pressure are key to preventing high blood pressure. Dr. Shawna Nesbitt, a hypertension specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says African-Americans have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure at an earlier age, so it’s especially important to have regular checkups and monitor blood pressure.

The earlier you begin treating high blood pressure, the healthier you can be. If you have risk factors for high blood pressure, you should try to keep your weight within normal limits, losing weight if necessary; exercise regularly; and eat a low-salt, high-fiber diet.


September 2010

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