There’s good news for those feeling the pressure to know more about high blood pressure and heart disease.
Nearly one in three adults has high blood pressure. Since the condition has no warning signs or symptoms, it’s important to know your risk factors. High blood pressure management is imperative to reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease-the single largest killer of Americans.
Fortunately, a free online tool has been created that offers information and ways to create a personal heart health profile to let you know your personal treatment options.
The tool-called Heart Profilers-includes an integrated index of medical terminology to ensure that patients understand their condition and all treatment options. The tool can also connect interested patients, at their request, to nearby clinical trials so that they learn about qualifying for experimental treatment programs.
While anyone can develop high blood pressure, regardless of race, age or gender, it is possible to prevent and control high blood pressure by taking steps, such as maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, following a healthy eating plan that emphasizes fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy foods, and choosing and preparing foods with less salt and sodium.
About 70 percent of people who have a first heart attack and nearly 80 percent who have a first stroke have blood pressures higher than 140/90 mm Hg. A 10 percent decrease in blood pressure levels may result in an estimated 30 percent reduction in the incidence of coronary heart disease.
“Heart Profilers helps patients assess their risk for heart disease and offers them a list of treatment options,” said Dr. Clyde Yancy, associate professor of medicine/ cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “It’s a major advance in online technology that has the potential to change the way patients and physicians interact with each other. This tool takes some of the mystery out of surfing the Web for health information.”
In addition to high blood pressure, Heart Profilers also covers cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and coronary artery disease. For more information, visit americanheart.org/heart profilers.
The American Heart Association also has a detailed site dedicated to high blood pressure.