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Hypertension

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By: Tricia Fleming, University of Kansas Dietetic Intern,
Tammy Beason, MS, RD, Nutrition Education Specialist, Family Nutrition Education Program. Editor: Candance Gabel, MS, RD, LD Associate State Nutrition Specialist, Family Nutrition Education Program

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood Pressure is the force of blood against the wall of the arteries. Systolic pressure is the pressure as the heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the pressure while the heart is at rest. Blood Pressure is written systolic over diastolic. For example, 110/75, 110 is the systolic pressure and 75 is the diastolic pressure.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is another term for High Blood Pressure. High Blood Pressure is diagnosed as a measure of 140/90 on three separate occasions.

Why is High Blood Pressure Important?

High Blood Pressure makes the heart work too hard, it can make the walls of arteries harden, and it is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. High Blood Pressure has many complications such as heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness.

Who can develop High Blood Pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure. Those who are especially at risk are African Americans, older adults >60, overweight individuals and those who have "high normal" blood pressures. For example 135-139/85-89 mm Hg.

How can we Prevent and Treat Hypertension?

A major part of both preventing and treating hypertension is lifestyle modification. Some guidelines are adopting a healthy lifestyle, following a healthy eating patter, maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, limiting alcohol, and quitting smoking.

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Other Diet and Disease Educational Support Materials:
Cancer  Diabetes  Heart Disease  Hypertension 
Osteoporosis  Phytochemicals

 

 
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last updated: 10/27/08
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