A Healthy Lifestyle Helps Prevent Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a dangerous condition that affects about 30 percent of 1199SEIU members. It is often called the “silent killer” because it typically has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it. There’s only one way to know whether you have hypertension—have a doctor or other healthcare professional measure your blood pressure. Your healthcare benefits give you access to quality care, so be sure to have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. Hypertension causes your heart to work harder than it’s designed to, which can damage your blood vessels and, in turn, your heart. Over time, this puts you at higher risk of serious health problems, including heart attack, heart failure and stroke. You’re more likely to develop hypertension if you smoke cigarettes, have a family history of the condition, are diabetic, overweight or obese, or do not exercise. Some things you can do to help prevent or treat hypertension are to stop smoking, exercise regularly, eat a nutritious diet and limit your sodium and alcohol intake.

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