May Recognized As High Blood Pressure Education Month

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The Volusia County Health Department, Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Wellness joins the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in recognizing May as National High Blood Pressure Education Month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that 1 of 3 American adults has high blood pressure or hypertension. In Volusia County, 30 percent of adults were diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2007 according to the Florida Community Health Assessment Resource Tool Set.

“Having high blood pressure increases your chance for heart disease, stroke, and other serious conditions,” said Dr. Sanford Zelnick, medical director of the Volusia County Health Department. “It is important to see your doctor and learn how to manage your blood pressure.”

There are several things you can do to keep your blood pressure healthy:

* Maintain a Healthy Weight - being overweight or obese can raise your blood pressure and losing weight can help you lower your blood pressure.

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* Be Active - being physically inactive is related to high blood pressure and physical activity can help to lower blood pressure.

* Maintain a Healthy Diet – include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lowering or cutting out salt or sodium.

* Moderate Alcohol Use - excessive alcohol consumption is related to increased blood pressure.People who drink alcohol should do so in moderation.

* Prevent and Control Diabetes - people with diabetes have a higher risk of high blood pressure, but they can also work to reduce their risk.

* Avoid Tobacco Use - smoking injures blood vessels and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries.

* Medications - if you develop high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medications, in addition to lifestyle changes, to help bring it under control.

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