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HHS HealthBeat (October 28, 2011)

Heart to heart

Doctor checks a patients’ blood pressure
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. If you’re listening to this with another person, it’s likely that one of you have at least one of the three major risk factors for heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Amy Valderrama is at the CDC.

“Major risk factors are uncontrolled high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.” (5 seconds)

Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least once every two years. You should have your cholesterol checked at least every five years. Living a healthy lifestyle helps, too.

“You can eat a healthy diet, which is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in fiber, and low in salt. You can maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, and limit your alcohol use. And ifyou already have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, follow your health care providers instructions.”  (15 seconds)

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: October 28, 2011