This health news comes via the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: one in every four Americans got treatment for high blood pressure in 2008. This statistic is distressing health news. It means that nearly 55 million people may be suffering from hypertension now. Clearly, high blood pressure is a condition that has reached epidemic proportions.
The U.S. report broke down the numbers for those with high blood pressure: 29% were black patients who incurred more than $1,000 in medical costs; 25% of white adults were treated for high blood pressure in 2008, compared to 15% of Hispanics and 20% of people of other races.
Overall, the report estimates that the total costs for treatment of hypertension exceeded more than $47.0 billion. How is possible to spend such an astronomical amount? According to the report, $21.3 billion was spent on prescription drugs, $13.0 billion on doctor visits, and an additional $13.0 billion spent on hospitalizations, emergency room visits and home health care. The agency also noted that 23% of women received treatment for high blood pressure in 2008, compared to 23% of men.
Along with the cost of treating high blood pressure, the danger the condition poses to your health should be good motivation to keep your blood pressure down. Here’s some health advice: use following four tips as alternative remedies for keeping hypertension at bay.
1. Exercise. This one’s a no-brainer — you need to get moving to keep your heart strong and healthy.
2. Reduce your salt intake. Salt can raise your blood pressure by as much as 10 points. Watch your intake of processed and prepared foods, which can be high in sodium.
3. Boost your levels of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Deficiencies in these minerals have been linked to high blood pressure.
4. Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying around excess fat makes your heart work harder than it should.