Hypertension & High Cholesterol - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Monday, Nov 29, 2004

Hypertension & High Cholesterol

They're all part of having a check-up; tongue depressors, stethoscopes, having your blood pressure checked. These vital signs can tell your doctor a lot about your health. Doctors at Mayo Clinic published a study that shows high blood pressure found during an exam not only puts you at increased risk for heart disease and stroke, but it also may be a sign that you're cholesterol is too high. And that high cholesterol can lead to blocked arteries. Here's what you should know about cutting your risk of heart attack.

"I've got books up here, books up here....."

In a study stacked to the rafters with world war two books and memorabilia, Robert Wilson reflects about why that war is so important to him.

"My two older brothers were in WW II, my older sister...."

Robert is too young to have joined the ranks of those who sacrificed for freedom.

"The destruction -- unbelievable."

But he's fighting his own, silent battle at home -- high blood pressure and clogged arteries caused by very high cholesterol.

"It was an ungodly number. I thought it was a misprint."

It wasn't. For years, Robert didn't realize he should be on medication for high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Dr. Stephen Turner says Robert's not alone. Only one out of every ten people with both high cholesterol and high blood pressure...

"are actually adequately controlled."

Dr. Turner and a team at Mayo Clinic published a study that shows that, in fact, high blood pressure is a warning sign for high cholesterol. A double whammy for increasing your risk of heart attack.

"If you don't know if you have high blood pressure, you should have your blood pressure checked."

At the same time have your cholesterol checked. And if, like Robert, you have high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about medication to lower it. Robert did and with a healthier heart, has more time to study the war that brought out the best in America.

"You gotta love this country."

Other ways to reduce your risk of heart attack include a diet low in saturated fats, regular exercise, and if you smoke, stop. Dr. Turner's research is part of an investigation into how your genes influence high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He says keeping blood pressure and bad cholesterol down with proper medications not only cuts your risk of heart attack, but it also reduces your risk of stroke, kidney disease and memory problems. For more information, log onto http://www.medicaledge.org/2004july.html#1


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