Myths about high blood pressure

July 14, 2013 1:34:06 AM PDT
High-blood pressure is a common health problem in the Valley and across the country

Doctors say, one in three Americans has it.

Action News Anchor Margot Kim breaks down the myths about high blood pressure. It can sneak up on you, or become a life-long problem.

High blood pressure comes in many forms

"There are a billion people in the world that have hypertension, high blood pressure," said Dr. David Brown, a cardiologist.

But how much do you know about this common problem? Fact or fiction: you need to monitor both arms when measuring blood pressure. A British study found differences in blood pressure between left and right arms could increase the risk of death.

Here is another, leaving the table salt on the table lowers your risk. Not necessarily! Up to 75 percent of the sodium you consume is hidden in processed foods, so check your labels, too. Fact or fiction: a small increase in blood pressure isn't a big deal? Fiction.

"For every ten millimeters of blood pressure increase, you have the doubling of heart attacks, the doubling of strokes," said Brown.

So, do men and women have an equal risk for high blood pressure? Yes! While men tend to develop the condition at a younger age, women catch up after menopause.

True or false: only med's can lower blood pressure. False! Lifestyle makes a difference. The Dash Diet can reduce blood pressure in just 14 days and by 8 to 14 points over time.

Finally, are warning signs really hard to spot? Besides a rare headache, high blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms. Now, you know the facts to keep your blood pressure in check.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily sodium to no more than 15-hundred milligrams. When you consume too much sodium, your body holds extra water to "wash" the salt from your body. This can cause blood pressure to rise.


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