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HHS Healthbeat

Managing your blood pressure

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Your diet, how much you exercise, how much salt you eat, and your age can affect your blood pressure. And if you have high blood pressure, you’re at risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. The older you get, the more your risks can go up.

Dr. Janet Wright is executive director of the Million Hearts initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.

“Our blood vessels get a little stiffer over time. And the stiffness means that when the blood is ejected from the heart and it hits a stiff wall, the pressure goes up.”

It’s called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms. Everyone should have his or her blood pressure checked periodically.

“Become your own blood pressure manager, recognize when you need some help, and then seek that help from a professional.”

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

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