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Experts advise on how to lower blood pressure

(KATV Photo)

Nearly 80 million Americans battle high blood pressure. One of those is Hot Springs resident June Johnson.

“ I was in banking, well they came by and said you could have your blood pressure checked out in the lobby, so of course, we all went out there,” Ms. Johnson recalled. “I'd never thought of the blood pressure and mine was high.”

That was in 1978. Four decades later, Ms. Johnson is dedicated to keeping her high blood pressure under control.

“I've had a valve replaced and I've had the arteries and I've had stents and I think that it's because of changing and being in exercise that I could have these things done.”

“She does several things to keep her risk factors under control,” explained Dr. Oyidie Igbokidi, an interventional cardiologist with CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute in Hot Springs. “She exercises regularly and I have her on several blood pressure medications to keep her blood pressure under control. She has to monitor her blood pressures daily.”

Ms. Johnson also watches her salt intake and goes to cardiac rehab, a program that guides patients through diet and exercise.

“We usually exercise for about 40 minutes to an hour,” Ms. Johnson said.

“You're able to be motivated to exercise because it's difficult to maintain exercise over 40 years,” Dr. Igbokidi added.

With medication, medical support and lifestyle changes, Ms. Johnson said she's blessed to be able to maintain an active lifestyle.

“I feel most of the time very fortunate, I feel very good.”

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