Almost half of Hispanics over age 65 have high blood pressure, but many don’t know they have it because they feel just fine. Even though high blood pressure doesn’t cause symptoms, it is a major health risk, and if it isn’t treated, it can lead to stroke, heart disease, kidney failure, and other serious health problems. The good news is that there are ways to prevent high blood pressure and the trouble it can cause. If you already have high blood pressure, there are ways to prevent or treat its complications.
High blood pressure is not a normal part of aging. You can prevent high blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight; exercising every day; eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods; cutting down on salt and sodium; and drinking less alcohol. You can lower your blood pressure by making these lifestyle changes and, if needed, by taking medicine.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is offering a free fact sheet in Spanish with tips on how to control high blood pressure. To order a copy of Presión Arterial Alta: Consejos para Mantenerla Bajo Control, call 1-800-222-2225 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. A Spanish-speaking information specialist is available to respond to calls. You also can order this and other Spanish publications on healthy aging on the NIA website at www.nia.nih.gov.
The NIA, part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, leads the federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the special needs of older people. The Institute is committed to making health information available to older Hispanic Americans and their families.