Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is one of the main causes of heart attacks and strokes worldwide. Doctors at Hadassah Medical Organization’s Heart Institute use renal sympathetic denervation in the catheterization laboratory for individuals suffering from severe, resistant and uncontrolled chronic hypertension. In the past, renal sympathetic denervation could be problematic, since it required open surgery. Now, with the use of a catheter, physicians go through an artery. Professor Chaim Lotan, Director of HMO’s Heart Institute, reported, “This procedure opens a window of opportunities for patients who have not responded well to medication. This approach can reduce the dosage required for some patients and completely eliminate the need for medication in others. However, it must be emphasized, this procedure is meant for high-risk hypertension patients, not for patients who are responding to medication. The treatment is still in its initial stages.”
About one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure. The condition usually has no signs or symptoms and is often referred to as the silent killer. You can have it for years and not know it. During this time it can cause a variety of life-threatening medical conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. However, you can take action! Some of the ways to help prevent high blood pressure are reducing your sodium intake, being active, maintaining a healthy weight and visiting your healthcare provider on a regular basis.
Pre-hypertension and high blood pressure are becoming more common in children and teens. This is due, in part, to a rise in overweight and obesity among these groups, lack of exercise and poor eating habits. 23.9 million American children are overweight or obese. Like adults, they need to have routine blood pressure checks. For children and teens, education is most important. By learning how to make changes in their lifestyles, they can lower their risk factors, not only for high blood pressure, but diabetes, heart disease, and strokes as well. Healthy living is a family affair!