Cardiovascular Disorders Sourcebook by Amy L. Sutton

By Amy L. Sutton

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Lifestyle Changes Healthy habits can help you control HBP. Healthy habits include the following: • Following a healthy eating plan • Doing enough physical activity • Maintaining a healthy weight • Quitting smoking • Managing your stress and learning to cope with stress If you combine these measures, you can achieve even better results than taking single steps. Making lifestyle changes can be hard. Start by making one healthy lifestyle change and then adopt others. Some people can control their blood pressures with lifestyle changes alone, but many people can’t.

The ranges for normal blood pressure and HBP are generally lower for youth than for adults. These ranges are based on the average blood pressure numbers for age, gender, and height. Your child should have routine blood pressure checks starting at 3 years of age. To find out whether a child has HBP, a doctor will compare the child’s blood pressure numbers to average numbers for his or her age, height, and gender. 22 Overview of Cardiovascular Disorder Risk Factors Both children and adults are more likely to develop HBP if they’re overweight or have diabetes.

19 Cardiovascular Disorders Sourcebook, Fourth Edition • High blood cholesterol and high triglyceride levels • High blood pressure • Diabetes and prediabetes • Overweight and obesity • Smoking • Lack of physical activity • Unhealthy diet • Stress The risk factors you can’t control are age, gender, and family history. Many people have at least one heart disease risk factor. Your risk for heart disease and heart attack increases with the number of risk factors you have and their severity. Also, some risk factors, such as smoking and diabetes, put you at greater risk for heart disease and heart attack than others.

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