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Hypertension: The Silent Killer
Posted By:  Jessica Lightner
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure is a very common problem in this country; a leading reason to visit a medical provider and the most frequently prescribed medications. While many health conditions and medications can cause HTN, the majority of patients have primary hypertension. Many people don’t realize they have HTN because there are few if any symptoms unless a lot of damage has been done.

Hypertension is defined as a daytime average blood pressure above 135/85. 135 is your systolic pressure or the pressure exerted on your blood vessels during a heart contraction. 85 is your diastolic pressure or resting pressure in the vascular system between heart beats. The cause of primary HTN is not known but there are risk factors: age, obesity, family history, race, high sodium diet, excessive alcohol intake, physical inactivity, diabetes and high cholesterol. Secondary HTN is caused by medications like: oral contraceptives, NSAIDs (Motrin), steroids, antidepressants, cold medications, weight loss medications and ADHD medications. Some diseases cause HTN as well like: kidney disease, sleep apnea, hypo- or hyper-thyroidism, Cushing’s, pheochromocytoma and others.

Once diagnosed it is important for patient to take their medications regularly. Treatments are individualized to the patient. Most people can be controlled with one medication but some will require two, three or even more. Uncontrolled or poorly controlled HTN is a major risk factor for stroke and heart failure but also chronic kidney disease and heart attacks.

Besides taking your medications consistently, all HTN patients need to make life-style changed to optimize their health. Starting a moderate exercise program with aerobic and muscle-building routines, join a yoga or tai chi class, reduce salt and saturated fat in the diet, limit alcohol intake, lose weight and increase water intake can all help to improve your blood pressure and reduce the need for medications.

Sterling Research will be conducting a study for a new class of blood pressure medications. You could be a medical hero by helping to create a newer and safer medication regimen. To see if you qualify call us at 513-621-5221.


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