Wednesday, February 2, 2011

High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease

High blood pressure (aka hypertension) usually has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. You can control high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle habits and taking medicines, if needed. 

Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. It is also a major cause of disability. There are many different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and happens slowly over time. It's the major reason people have heart attacks.

You can help reduce your risk of heart disease by taking steps to control factors that put you at greater risk:
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Don't smoke
  • Get enough exercise
[Excerpted from the MedlinePlus links below]

High Blood Pressure
[From MedlinePlus]

Understanding Your Risk for Heart Disease
[From UCSF Medical Center Patient Education]
Note the section on Modifiable Risk Factors, to see what you can do to reduce your risk.

Heart Disease Resources
[From MedlinePlus]

Blood Pressure Medicines
[From MedlinePlus]