Recent data published this year (2010) shows that from 2000 to 2008, high blood pressure has been treated successfully in fifty percent of people who are afflicted with the condition. However, the same set of information indicates that little has been achieved in terms of curbing the occurrence of the so-called “silent killer.” In fact, although in the United States more or less 80% of individuals who have hypertension are aware of their condition, the study claims that around 20% of 70 million people are not aware that they have a potentially life-threatening condition.
Researchers agree that there is still much more to be done before hypertension, which is one of the leading risk factors in a host of other deadly afflictions such as heart disease, could be truly declared to be under control by the medical authorities.
What is the ordinary individual’s role as far as the fight against hypertension is concerned?
There are of course a variety of effective medications for controlling blood pressure. But these remedies often bring about some unpleasant side effects, not to mention their hefty price. Also, even medical experts agree that the best cure is prevention.
So how can one prevent himself or herself from acquiring this dreaded condition? It may still come as a surprise to some, even after all these years of public information campaigns by the government, schools, and private organizations that the defenses against the development of hypertension are well within everybody’s grasp. In fact, these potent weapons are common lifestyle choices that everybody should consider.
Maintain a healthy weight.
The importance of keeping a healthy weight in the prevention of high blood pressure can never be overstated. When one is overweight, the heart has to pump harder in order to convey blood to all the different regions of the body, inevitably leading to a rise in blood pressure. Eat sensibly and follow an exercise regimen to keep excess weight off.
Mind your diet.
The quality of food that one ingests is also quite significant in the prevention of hypertension. The ironic thing is that though most people are aware of this fact, few seem to actually care about it and allow themselves to fall into unhealthy eating habits. One should avoid excessive fat, salt, sugar, and cholesterol intake while eating more of the things that everybody knows is good for the maintenance of cardiovascular health, such as fruits, vegetables.
Do not smoke, and drink moderately.
Actually, too much of these two elements will render a person vulnerable not only to hypertension but also to numerous other serious medical conditions, including virtually all the major diseases like cancer and heart disease. One should seriously make an effort to stop smoking or not start in the first place. Smoking has no benefit, or even if there is, it is vastly overshadowed by any of its horrendous effects to the human body, not the least of which is hypertension.