Blood Pressures Keep on Rising

Aug 24, 2004 -- We Americans haven't been doing such a good job controlling our weight, cholesterol and blood sugar so it is no surprise that the NIH (National Institutes of Health) reports that there has been a striking increase in our blood pressure over the last 10 years. The NIH estimates that the number of adults with high blood pressure has increased by about 30% -- from 50 million to 65 million.

Why has this happened?

The two big reasons are thought to be an increase in obesity and an aging population. Unfortunately, we can't do anything about people aging as they get older. But avoiding obesity also helps ward off other diseases such as type 2 diabetes. It is all interrelated.

Remember that the current guidelines recommend a blood pressure at or below 120 over 80.

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com

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