High blood pressure troubles especially target
African-Americans

Knowing your blood pressure and your family’s health history are paramount in fighting early onset of high blood pressure, especially if you’re an African-American, say experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

“African-Americans are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure earlier in life. While there is no single reason, there are ways to combat it,” says Dr. Shawna Nesbitt, associate professor of internal medicine and a hypertension specialist at UT Southwestern. “Getting regular checkups and knowing your blood pressure is extremely important.”

In addition, Dr. Nesbitt says that knowing whether or not you have other risk factors for hypertension is important in assessing risk.

“Other health problems like heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and high cholesterol may highlight the need for earlier treatment of high blood pressure.”

She also said that the earlier in life you begin treating blood pressure, the healthier you will be. Those with risk factors for high blood pressure should aim to keep body weight in the normal range; lose weight if needed; maintain a low salt/high fiber diet; and exercise regularly, about 30 minutes at least four days each week.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/heartlungvascular to learn more about
UT Southwestern’s heart, lung and vascular clinical services, including the hypertension program.

Media Contact: Katherine Morales

Return to September 2009 News Tips

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