National Geographic : 1950 Aug
The doctor advises a patient about HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE DOCTOR: "Your recent physical examination showed that you are in good condition, although your blood pressure is up. Additional tests and examinations I have made indicate that you have uncomplicatedhigh blood pressure. This means that no underlying diseases or infections are causing your condition. "Actually, high blood pressure, or hypertension, may be slight, moderate, or severe. Even when it is severe, many people continue to lead active, normal lives for many years simply by following the doctor's advice and by adopting healthful living habits." PATIENT: "Just what is high blood pressure?" DOCTOR: "It is a condition that results when the blood flowing through the body's small vessels meets increased resistance. This is usually brought about by the narrowing of these small vessels. This narrowing may occur in response to emotional or other factors. "Everybody's blood pressure varies from time to time. However, when these blood vessels remain constantly tightened up, persistent high blood pres sure results." PATIENT: "How does high blood pressure cause harm?" DOCTOR: "Mainly by placing an additional strain on the heart and blood vessels. This, in turn, causes enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart. As a result, the efficiency of the heart's chief pumping chamber is lessened. Then, too, the arteries wear out sooner than they would if the blood pressure were normal." 0 M Tl@1 finurance CompanyT^BH^ PATIENT: "I understand. Now, Doctor, what can I do to help myself?" DOCTOR: "First, learn to avoid worry and mental strain. For example, if there are situations which always upset you, make a special effort to avoid them. Slow down-go through your daily routine without undue fuss or hurry. The calmer you be come, the more your blood vessels tend to relax and thus help to lower your blood pressure. You must also get your weight down to what is normal for you andkeep it there, you must get plenty ofsleep and rest, and you must not neglect having periodic health examinations." PATIENT: "What about the new treatments . . special diets and drugs?" DOCTOR: "In selected cases, the newer forms of treatment are often helpful. Some of the newer drugs may be helpful in many cases but owing to the wide variation in the causes of high blood pres sure, these should only be taken with the advice of your physician. Various diets in which salt, protein, and fats are restricted have often benefited some patients. But in your case, like many others, simple common sense treatment usually produces good results." Knowledge of what causes high blood pressure is increasing, thanks to research supported by the Life Insurance Medical Research Fund and others. In fact, there is hope that both preventive and curative measures may be found as research con tinues. For more information about high blood pressure, write for Metropolitan's free booklet, 80N, entitled "Your Heart." Please send me a copy of your booklet, 80N, "Your Heart." Street. City State- ---- ------------------------- 3Juidl. '