High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure


Want good eyesight? Eat fish, stop smoking
We all know that smoking is a major risk factor for many diseases including heart and blood vessel disease, osteoporosis and various cancers. Perhaps less well known is the fact that smoking causes blindness. Smokers and people who have smoked are three times more likely to develop macular degeneration.

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Falling body, failing brain
It’s commonly known that falls are a leading cause of injury resulting in hospitalisation, but as Nick Rushworth points out, it’s less well known that falls are also a major cause of what is called “traumatic brain injury” or TBI. The impact on both the individual with a brain injury and their family is enormous, and according to Brain Injury Australia, it’s an impact that is little understood by the community.

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What does a stroke look like?
Heart and blood vessel disease, known medically as cardiovascular disease, remains Australia’s number one killer. It affects nearly 2.5 million Australians. Together, heart attack and stroke (maybe we should call it “brain attack”) account for around a third of all deaths in Australia. This year Australians will suffer more than 60,000 new and recurrent strokes – that’s one stroke every 10 minutes. Statistics indicate that one in five people having a first ever stroke will die within a month and one in three die within a year.

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We all should work with heart
Hypertension (the medical term for abnormally high blood pressure) is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the most serious risk factors for death worldwide. It is estimated that about 30% of Australian adults have hypertension; and most of these people are receiving no treatment. What makes hypertension so serious is that, well before the explosive heart attack or stroke occurs, there is underlying, sometimes irreparable damage done to the cardiovascular system, the kidneys and the brain. Also, hypertension, especially when combined with diabetes, significantly increases the risk of blindness.

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Are all our health dollars going to waist?
The consequences of carrying excess weight cost us dearly – both individually and as a community. Cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are probably the most significant conditions resulting from obesity; but there are many other conditions as well that are associated with carrying around too much weight. Weight related health problems include back pain, muscle and joint problems, osteoarthritis, stress incontinence, sleep apnoea and general fatigue. There are also psychological problems: low self esteem, low self confidence and depression.

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Diabetes – a monumental challenge
Worldwide diabetes is fast reaching epidemic proportions. In fact, diabetes is the fourth main cause of death in most developed countries. Recent figures from the World Health Organization indicate that more than 3 million deaths throughout the world are attributable to diabetes each year; numbers comparable to the most deadly of infectious diseases – AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Studies show that nearly one in four Australian adults either has diabetes or so-called impaired glucose metabolism which is associated with a substantial risk of diabetes and heart disease.

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That\'s just too salty
Most Australians would probably ask: what is there to be aware of? We’re all aware of salt. But maybe we’re not all aware of just how much more salt we consume than is good for our health. The ideal intake of salt is 1-2 grams per day, but many Australians consumer five or ten times that amount. Salt is a leading cause of high blood pressure; and high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

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Good health gift ideas
For many people, Christmas has deep religious significance; for others, it’s simply a time to relax and enjoy a few days off work. But for almost everyone, this time of year has traditionally become one of celebration. Throughout many societies it is commonplace to exchange gifts or simply ‘season’s greetings’, and to express sentiments of peace and goodwill. Wishes of good health usually accompany greetings at this time of year; so, perhaps some healthy gift ideas could be worth a thought as well.

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Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a significant risk factor for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. However, this condition can be prevented and managed through healthy lifestyle behaviours such as regular physical exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and weight, limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking.

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The pressure of life
The description of circulation was further refined in the 2nd century AD by the Greek physician, Galen; and in the 1600s the Englishman, William Harvey, not only provided us with almost complete detail of this network of blood vessels, but he also argued that the beat of the heart produced continuous blood flow.

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