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Heart Health
The hazards of high blood pressure

3/21/2008 6:00:00 PM

High blood pressure(hypertension)increases the workload of your heart and arteries in order to maintain the body's necessary blood flow. Your heart has to pump harder and your arteries have to carry blood that is under greater pressure when you have high blood pressure. Sustained high blood pressure results in your heart and arteries not working as well as they could. Serious health problems, such as stroke, congestive heart failure and heart attack, could also develop as a result of high blood pressure. The risk of having such health problems is greatly increased if, in addition to being hypertensive, you are obese and or sedentary, you smoke or if you have high cholesterol or diabetes. High blood pressure affects more than just your heart and arteries. Other body organs including the eyes, brain and kidneys can also be affected by high blood pressure. It is important to know that some over the counter medications, primarily cold and flu products that contain a decongestant can raise your blood pressure. Decongestants have also been known to interfere with the efficacy of blood pressure medications.

Always check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.

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