Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, more than 65 million individuals have hypertension. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about hypertension in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

High blood pressure, if left untreated, can cause severe damage to the bodys organs, including the brain, heart, blood vessels and kidneys.

Having high blood pressure may not cause symptoms until organs have been damaged. For this reason, hypertension is often called the silent killer.

Normal systolic blood pressure, the upper number in blood pressure measurement, is less than 120 millimeters of mercury, and normal diastolic blood pressure is less than 80. Hypertension is present if systolic blood pressure averages 140 or higher or diastolic blood pressure 90 or higher. Prehypertension is present if blood pressures are between normal and hypertensive levels.

If hypertension is diagnosed early and well controlled, damage to other tissues can be prevented. Lifestyle modifications, including following a low-salt and low-fat diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, not smoking, and using alcohol only in moderation are the best ways to reduce your risk of having hypertension.

Several types of medications to treat high blood pressure and its complications are often prescribed.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.