High Blood Pressure Information Added to NIH Senior Health High Blood Pressure Information Added to NIH Senior Health
National Institute on Aging

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.