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Collaborative studies have defined  detailed protocols for following patients with Hypertension or High Blood Pressure. There is considerable overlap with protocols that deal with Diabetes, Coronary Artery Disease, Stroke, and Congestive Heart Failure. The overlap extends not only to common laboratory studies and medications but to common dietary recommendations for example for reduced salt intake. Details about hypertension are provided by the Canadian Hypertension Education Program at www.hypertension.ca. There is also a Patient Guide for Hypertension.

The Brutal Summary:

Stop smoking. Reduce your alcohol intake especially if you are in the 2 drinks per day group. Get your BMI less than 27 by diet management that considers low salt, low fat and cholesterol, and modified diabetic diets.

Buy a blood pressure monitor. Calibrate it against a mercury manometer preferably in your doctor's office so he can also comment on the cuff size. Take your monitor back to the vendor and get another type if it does not agree with the mercury manometer standard. Take and record your blood pressure 2 or 3 times a week. If your readings are consistently above 130/80 consult your doctor. He can start his version of the Chronic Disease Management of Hypertension. This usually has at least two phases: the new diagnosis of high blood pressure and the structured follow up of a patient with known hypertension.

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