If you ever get nervous about a visit to the doctor’s office or Wellcheck, consider this: blood pressure was first measured in the 1700s by a scientist who inserted a glass tube into the artery of a horse and observed the pressure as blood was pushed up the tube. A century later, a physician developed a way to measure blood pressure without having to pierce the skin (thankfully!). Medicine has come a long way! But it still wasn’t until the mid 19th century that checking blood pressure became a regular part of doctor’s visits. Even then, many doctors did not consider high blood pressure concerning; it was seen as just a normal part of aging. In fact, in 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt was given a clean bill of health, even with a blood pressure of 220/120 (normal blood pressure is less than 120/80)! FDR died only months later from a stroke.
The first effective drugs—without terrible side effects anyway—to lower high blood pressure were developed in the 1950s, but it took a few large, randomized, placebo-controlled studies in the 1960s to finally convince the medical community that high blood pressure should actually be treated. The findings of the studies were resoundingly clear. The higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. When high blood pressure was treated, risk was reduced.
Now, in 2019, we know that high blood pressure, known as hypertension, not only should be treated, but that lifestyle modifications can play a huge role in its prevention and management. The foods we eat, how active we are, whether we smoke or not, how we deal with stress, how much alcohol we drink, all play a role in our blood pressure and how likely we are to develop hypertension.
Learn more fascinating facts about hypertension and its prevention by joining our webinar series starting tomorrow (5/14)! We will be hosting four 30-minute webinars on Tuesdays from 12:15 – 12:45pm. If you can’t make it at that time, you can still feel free to register, and you’ll receive the recording as soon as it’s available!
To register, click on the links below:
Tuesday, May 14th: Blood Pressure Basics
Discover the meaning of the blood pressure numbers, how the human body controls blood pressure, symptoms of and risk factors for hypertension, and instructions for getting an accurate blood pressure reading.
Tuesday, May 21st: Nutrition Strategies to Halt Hypertension
Find out which nutrients play an important role in blood pressure regulation, which foods to eat more of, and which foods to only enjoy occasionally, and why the DASH diet remains the gold standard for lowering high blood pressure.
Tuesday, May 28th: Physical Activity Recommendations to Halt Hypertension
We all know that exercise is good for us, but tune in to learn more about the reasons exercise is beneficial for preventing and lowering high blood pressure, and the activities and amount that is recommended for people with hypertension.
Tuesday, June 4th: Managing Stress to Halt Hypertension
Although stress alone may not cause hypertension, unhealthy coping strategies certainly can. We’ll discuss healthy ways to manage stress, what factors are associated with stress hardiness, what resources are available through MUS Wellness, and we’ll practice a few stress management techniques.