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Word cloud- Hypertension

Hypertension 2

In my previous blog (Hypertension 1), I explained what blood pressure is, how it is measured and what the measurements mean for your health. In this blog, I will mention the risk factors and the treatment of Hypertension

Risk Factors for Hypertension:   Living Healthy

  • Age – advancing age is associated with increased blood pressure and an increased incidence of hypertension
  • Obesity – obesity and weight gain are major risk factors for hypertension
  • High salt diet- Excess sodium intake (e.g higher than 3000mg per day) increases the risk for hypertension and sodium restriction lowers blood pressure
  • Excessive alcohol consumption- Excess alcohol intake is associated with the development of hypertension.
  • Physical inactivity – Exercise is an effective means of lowering blood pressure. Do something active for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
  • Choose a diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products
  • Family history – Hypertension is about twice as common in subjects who have one or two hypertensive parents, and multiple studies suggest that genetic factors account for approximately 30 percent of the variation in blood pressure in various populations
  • Personality traits and depression – Hypertension may be more common among those with certain personality traits, such as hostile attitudes and time urgency/impatience, as well as among those with depression
  • Abuse of Prescription or over-the-counter medications:
    • Oral contraceptives particularly those containing higher doses of estrogen, which can often raise the blood pressure within the normal range but also induce overt hypertension
    • Antidepressants
    • Decongestants
    • Weight loss medications
    • Illicit drug use- drugs such as methamphetamines and cocaine can raise blood pressure
    • Cyclosporine
    • Glucocorticoids
    • Erythropoietin
    • Stimulants including methylphenidate and amphetamines, etc

Treatment of Hypertension:

Who should be treated? – All hypertensive patients should undergo appropriate lifestyle modification like:

  • Dietary salt restriction
  • Weight loss – weight loss in overweight or obese individuals can lead to significant fall in blood pressure
  • Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet- This pattern is high in vegetables, fruits, whole grain, poultry, low-fat dairy products, fish and nuts; and low in sweets, sugar-sweetened, beverages and red meats. The DASH dietary pattern is consequently rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein and fiber, but low in saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol
  • Exercise: Aerobic exercise and possibly resistance training can decrease pressure by, on average 4 to 6 mmHg and 3mmHg, respectively independent of weight loss. Studies have demonstrated a reduction in blood pressure after three to four sessions per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise lasting approximately 40 minutes for a period of 12 weeks.
  • Limited alcohol intake- Women who consume two or more alcoholic beverages per day and men who have three or more drinks per day have a significantly increased incidence of hypertension compared with nondrinkers; this effect is dose related and is most prominent when intake exceeds five drinks per day. On the other hand, decreasing alcohol intake in individuals who drink excessively significantly lowers blood pressure
  • Patient education: Individuals should get up to date information on their medical condition. In addition to education of patients by their clinicians, blood pressure control may be improved when patients with hypertension hear the personal stories of their peers with hypertension
  • Drug Treatment: Please see a qualified doctor for prescription

I trust that these pieces of information will help you as you make significant lifestyle modifications that will impact your heath positively. Drop your comments and questions below

Dr. JoeTakon

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