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Hypertension (high blood pressure) affects about 50 million individuals in the United States and about 1 billion worldwide. It is the most common diagnosis, associated with 35 million office visits and a risk factor for heart disease, stroke and renal failure.
Blood pressure is the force of blood on the vessels of the circulatory system. It is expressed as two numbers: the top number (systolic pressure) is the pressure in the vessels when the heart is beating. The bottom number (diastolic pressure) is the pressure when the heart is filling and relaxed.
Hypertension is defined as a blood pressure reading of 140 over 90. New guidelines established in 2003 have a new classification category called “pre-hypertension” defined as a reading of above 120 over 80.
Lifestyle changes including weight reduction, dietary sodium reduction, physical activity and moderation of alcohol consumption are cornerstones of treatment for hypertension and pre-hypertension.
Research shows the benefits of exercise for people with both hypertension and diabetes. However, most studies focus on outcomes for blood glucose control rather than heart health. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is sponsoring a clinical trial to evaluate the impact of exercise on heart health for individuals who have type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension. This trial is currently recruiting subjects.
For more information about the clinical trial, visit their Web site at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
For people with both hypertension and diabetes, exercise provides many benefits including improved heart function, reduced body fat, increased muscle mass, increased insulin sensitivity and reduced blood pressure.
General exercise recommendations for someone with both hypertension and diabetes include:
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.