High blood pressure often is called “the silent killer“ because many people don't know they have it. Even though it doesn't cause symptoms, high blood pressure is a major health risk. If it isn't treated, it can lead to stroke, heart disease, kidney failure, and other serious health problems. Information about the prevention, detection, and treatment of high blood pressure is now available on NIHSeniorHealth (www.NIHSeniorHealth.gov). This Web site, which was designed especially for older adults, is a joint effort of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which are part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“High blood pressure is not a normal part of aging,“ says Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which developed the content for the high blood pressure topic on NIHSeniorHealth. “You can prevent high blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight; being physically active every day; eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods; cutting down on salt and sodium; and drinking less alcohol. If you have high blood pressure, you can lower it by making these lifestyle changes and, if needed, by taking medicine.“ The new high blood pressure topic on NIHSeniorHealth, Nabel says, is an excellent resource for older adults.
One of the fastest growing age groups using the Internet, older Americans increasingly turn to the Internet for health information. In fact, 66 percent of "wired" seniors surf for health and medical information when they go online. NIHSeniorHealth, which is based on the latest research on cognition and aging, features short, easy-to-read segments of information that can be accessed in a variety of formats, including large-print type sizes, open-captioned videos and a new audio version. Additional topics coming soon to the site include clinical trials, nutrition and falls. The site links to MedlinePlus, NLM's premier, more detailed site for consumer health information.
The NIA leads the federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The NLM, the world's largest library of the health sciences, creates and sponsors Web-based health information resources for the public and professionals. The NHLBI is the nation's primary supporter of research in diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung, and blood and sleep disorders. All three institutes are components of the NIH in Bethesda, Md.
The NIH – The Nation's Medical Research Agency – includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.