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FOR RELEASE: June 1, 2004
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Moving to Prevent and Control High Blood Pressure
(Part 4 - End of Series)

Although high blood pressure currently affects one in every four American adults, and almost one in every three Oklahoma adults, the good news is that high blood pressure can be prevented and controlled.

According to officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), high blood pressure has no signs or symptoms, and uncontrolled it can lead to heart disease, the number one leading cause of death. It can also lead to stroke, the number three leading cause of death, and to kidney disease, the number nine leading cause of death.

You can prevent or control high blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight, following a healthy eating plan, eating less salt and sodium, limiting your alcohol consumption, being physically active, and taking medications as prescribed for high blood pressure.

Physical activity is one of the most important things a person can do to prevent or control high blood pressure. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week will help. You can divide the 30 minutes into shorter periods of 15 minutes of exercise. It isn’t necessary to go to a gym to get those 30 minutes. You can work them into your everyday activities. For example, take stairs instead of an elevator or escalator when it is practical. Park your car a little farther from where you are going than usual.

Here are some activities that will provide you with moderate exercise:

  • Brisk walking
  • Cleaning house
  • Mowing the lawn or raking leaves
  • Bicycling at a moderate speed of 10 miles per hour or less
  • Dancing

Most people do not need to see a doctor before they start a moderate-level activity, but if you have heart trouble or have had a heart attack, if you are older and are not used to doing a moderate-level activity, if you have a family history of heart disease at an early age, or if you have any other serious health problem, check with your doctor first.

For more information on how to prevent or control high blood pressure, visit “Your Guide to Controlling High Blood Pressure” Web site at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/index.html or you may also contact the OSDH Chronic Disease Service at 405/271-4072, or call your local health department for more information on high blood pressure.

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