Doctors say get your blood pressure in check this month - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Doctors say get your blood pressure in check this month

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

May is High Blood Pressure Education Month, a perfect time to take steps to lower your blood pressure.

State health officials say if Illinoisans reduced their sodium intake by 30 percent, it would prevent more than 100,000 cases of high blood pressure and save $200 million in medical costs.

Quitting smoking, getting exercise, having a diet low in sodium full of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risks associated with high blood pressure.

"Everybody worries about cholesterol," said physician Dr. Roger Jones. "Cholesterol certainly has an impact on vascular disease; but if I had one thing to treat, cholesterol or high blood pressure, I'd treat high blood pressure. It has more of an impact on a person's health as far as vascular disease."

High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Dr. Jones says you should try to eat only 1,500 milligrams or about three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt per day, and eat a minimum of six servings of fruit a day.

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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