Check your blood pressure at home

For a more accurate measure of your blood pressure, and help keeping it under control, try keeping tabs on it at home.

Are you interested in halving your chances of having a heart attack or stroke? You don't need a new drug to stop inflammation or stabilize vulnerable plaque. You needn't find a clinical trial of stem cells to heal injured blood vessels or heart muscle. The secret is safer, cheaper, and far more mundane: Routinely check your blood pressure and work to lower it if it is high.

Neither part of this prescription for prevention is as simple as it sounds. Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension) takes some work. It involves paying attention to what you eat, exercising (or exercising more), making other lifestyle changes, and taking medications if needed. Merely finding out if you have high blood pressure or tracking the results of your efforts to keep it under control can also be difficult. Why? Because doctors are notoriously bad at measuring blood pressure.

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