HEALTH BEAT 7-1-2003

Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts July 2003 Current Issue
July 2003
Short Cuts:

It’s Been a Pressure

One in four American adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension, and 90 percent of Americans over 55 will develop the disorder. Increased pressure against the blood vessel walls can lead to stroke, heart failure, even blindness. Yet, because it rarely presents symptoms, many people with hypertension don’t even know they have it.

In May, the National Institutes of Health ( released its new blood-pressure guidelines. Now, individuals with pressure rates of 120/80 and higher are considered “pre-hypertensive” and at risk for the disorder. Consuming more vegetables and less sodium and alcohol, losing weight, and getting brisk exercise almost every day can help lower the numbers.

Stopping smoking does not affect blood pressure but will decrease the risk of related diseases. It is unknown whether stress relief has a long-term effect.

For more information, and to read the new guidelines, visit the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute on the Web at


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