Thursday, February 12, 2009

Health Tips for February 13

Health Tip: Women and High Blood Pressure

In women, the risk factors for high blood pressure can be different than those for men.

The American Heart Association lists these factors that may increase the risk of high blood pressure in women:

  • Taking birth control pills.
  • Being pregnant.
  • Being postmenopausal.
  • Being black.
  • Being overweight.
  • Having a family history of high blood pressure.

Health Tip: Check Blood Pressure at Home

Blood pressure can change frequently based on recent exercise, foods you've eaten, or changes in stress levels.

Here are suggestions for monitoring your blood pressure at home, courtesy of the American Heart Association:

  • Take a measurement of your upper arm, and buy a blood pressure cuff that's the right size.
  • At least 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure, avoid smoking, caffeine and exercise.
  • Sit in the proper position, with your back straight and supported, and your feet flat on the floor. Place your lower arm on a flat surface with your upper arm at the level of your heart.
  • Read the instructions on how to apply and use the cuff. Or ask your doctor to show you how.
  • Take two to three readings at the same time each day, and wait at least one minute between readings. Always record all results.

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