Is High Blood Pressure Still A Problem?
Patricia Zifferblatt | June 15, 2006

If anything, it’s a bigger problem than ever--did you know that diseases related to blood pressure account for about 40% of deaths in the U.S., and that high blood pressure is considered a rising national epidemic? The number of people with high blood pressure in the U.S. is increasing every year and affecting people earlier in life. In a brand new study, researchers checked various health measures of 2,000 eighth-graders in three states and found that one in four children has high blood pressure!

High blood pressure (hypertension) is known as the “silent killer.” Uncontrolled high blood pressure can have no symptoms or very few, but it’s a major risk factor for stroke, kidney damage, heart disease, congestive heart disease, blindness, and Alzheimer’s disease.

What is a good blood pressure to maintain for better health?
Normal by medical standards is less than 120/80 and if you want to live long and well, keep your blood pressure below these numbers, if possible. Having a “little blood pressure problem” is like being “a little bit pregnant”--there’s no such thing. One either has or doesn’t have high blood pressure, so stop fooling yourself!

So what’s a body to do?
  • Don’t smoke

  • Limit alcohol consumption

  • Exercise regularly

  • Maintain a good weight for your gender, age, and height

  • Eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day

  • Restrict the amount of Asian ginseng you take in--watch for it in some energy drinks

  • Some dietary supplements such as garlic and omega-3 fatty acids can help blood pressure.

  • See your doctor regularly--he or she should be your partner in keeping you as healthy as possible
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