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Managing High Blood Pressure

Obese Woman
Posted by Tara White on Saturday, July 7, 2012

With the new year halfway gone and your New Year's resolution to eat smart and move more is just a withered dream, what can you do to start or maintain a lifestyle to lower high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is when your blood presses too hard against the walls of your blood vessels. High blood pressure rarely produces symptoms, but over time can cause serious health problems. Many times, people never know they have high blood pressure until they go to their doctor for an annual physical.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 40 percent of non-Hispanic blacks have high blood pressure. If you are African-American, there is a good chance that you, a relative or an African American friend has the disease, which is also known as HBP or hypertension. Not only is HBP more severe in blacks than whites, but it also develops earlier in life.

African-Americans are at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure. Other risks include: excessive weight, a family history of high blood pressure, having diabetes, inactivity, high dietary intake of salt and fat, low intake of potassium, increased age, and smoking.

Blood Pressure Levels

High blood pressure or hypertension can cause changes in the walls of your blood vessels. If vessel walls thicken, the following can occur:

Start making healthy lifestyle changes today. Some steps to lower blood pressure are:

Lifestyle changes can help you control and prevent high blood pressure — even if you are taking blood pressure medication.

Even if you don't have high blood pressure, you can lower your risk by following healthy lifestyle guidelines for high blood pressure in African-Americans.

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