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A study at the National Naval Medical Center has shown that HIVers have a dramatically higher risk of developing pulmonary artery hypertension -- high blood pressure in the vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs -- than HIV-negative adults. Among study participants, about one in 20 HIVers developed the condition, compared to just one of every 200,000 people in the general population.
In addition to having your blood pressure checked regularly and talking with your physician to see if you need medications to control it, here are some simple suggestions from the National Institutes of Health to help you keep your blood pressure in check:
- Get some exercise several days a week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet.
- Reduce salt and sodium intake.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Quit smoking!