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New Initiative Educating People About Hypertension

February 2, 2010, 5:08 PM by Kelli Grant

New Initiative Educating People About Hypertension
One in three adults has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. It's a medical condition that can result in tragedy, leading to a heart attack or stroke. But the consequences can be prevented.

Some people think that having hypertension means you're tense or stressed out. But having high blood pressure has nothing to do with personality traits. And health care leaders in Sioux Falls hope to get that message out this month.

It's called the Sioux Falls High Blood Pressure Awareness Initiative and its goal is to help doctors and nurses educate patients about their risk. High blood pressure can often lead to heart attack and heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other health consequences. That's why it's important to know your numbers, know what they mean and how to bring high blood pressure down.

"We're looking for direction from the physician that every time that you come in as a patient, that your blood pressure is recorded. And then we're trying to educate the patient to make sure that they understand what that means," Bill Ladwig with Lewis Drug said.

Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers. The top number, which is also the higher of the two, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. The bottom number, which should be the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats. It should normally be less than 120 over 80 for an adult age 20 or over.

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