High Blood Pressure Websites and Information Resources

The National High Blood Pressure Education Program at:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/

is a great place to start adding to your understanding of high blood pressure. It is a program that was begun in 1972 by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Its goal is to reduce death and disability related to high blood pressure through programs of professional, patient, and public education.. If you want to call for information, dial 301-496-4236.

The site has huge amounts of resources concerning high blood pressure. On the index page you will find a selection of 55 topics from ACE inhibitors to hormone replacement therapy to white coat high blood pressure with everything in between. Besides the basic information, there are tips and quizzes, information about medications and working with your doctor and real-life examples of people with high blood pressure.

If you want information that you do not find there you can follow the links to “Contact NHLBI” where you can get an answer to just about any question on high blood pressure.

MEDLINEplus Health Information: High Blood Pressure is one of about 500 discussions of health topics from the National Institutes of Health. It can be found at:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/highbloodpressure.html

You can write to them at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894 or call 301-496-6221.

The site contains basic descriptions of high blood pressure but is right up to date with information about the latest discoveries. When I visited there were references to articles about high blood pressure that had appeared just three days earlier. You will also find lists of hospitals and physicians, a medical encyclopedia and dictionaries, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information form the media and links to thousands of clinical trials.

As you would expect from any government site, there is no advertising and no endorsement of any products or company.

If you want to, you can sign up for weekly updates of Medline Plus topics, but you have to have an e-mail address.

Don’t take my word for it, though. In the January 2002 edition of Consumer Reports, which is my bible for reliable consumer information, they write: “To find dependable information…start at respected general-health sites. The best is MEDLINEplus, the National Library of Medicine’s consumer-health site.”

Also a part of the National Library of Medicine is the site called PubMed. This is really used mostly by professional, but if you have read this book carefully, you know as much or more as many of the professionals. It is found at

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

Once you get there you can search PubMed for whatever term you want, in our case, high blood pressure and click on Go. You will be presented with thousands of references from the medical literature about your subject, many with abstracts, short descriptions of the study. If you want to limit your search to certain types of papers like reviews of a subject and to certain years, you can do so by clicking on the word Limits and choosing the appropriate limits for your search.

The PubMed site is something that can only be used on a computer. The amazing thing is that you can be sitting in your family room looking at thousands of articles on whatever medical topic you choose. If you need justification for paying your federal taxes, the PubMed site serves that function very well.

The American Heart Association began as a group of physicians in New York City in 1915 who were dedicated to expanding information about heart disease. Similar groups formed throughout the country and in 1924 they joined to form this organization. It began as a scientific society but in 1948 it transformed itself into an agency of professional and non-professional volunteers. Its mission is to “reduce disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.” You can go directly to its vast resources on high blood pressure by linking to:

http://americanheart.org/

By mail you can reach them at the American Heart Association National Center, 7272 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75231 or call 800-242-8721.

Although there is some advertising at this site, it is clearly differentiated from the excellent medical information. You will find a series of questions that you might ask about high blood pressure with extensive answers. You will also find stories of people who have had brain attacks and how they survived. There are statistics on every aspect of heart disease.

The American Stroke Association, at

http://www.strokeassociation.org/

is a division of the American Heart Association. It can be reached at the same address substituting American Stroke Association for American Heart Association. The phone number is 888-478-7653.

The American Stroke Association publishes a magazine called Stroke Connection Magazine, containing articles for people who are recovering from a brain attack.

You will find information about prevention of brain attacks, caring for the person who has a brain attack, medical resources and just about anything you need to know to deal with this complication of high blood pressure.

Both of these sites have extensive information for professionals as well as patients. They provide thousands of pages of information and links to other sites where you can find any resource that exists for high blood pressure and brain attacks.

One particularly useful feature at the American Stroke Association site is a pen pal feature so that a brain attack sufferer can communicate with another person who has had a similar attack.

The American Society of Hypertension was started in 1985 by a group of professional who wanted to “to organize and conduct educational activities designed to promote and encourage the development, advancement, and exchange of scientific information in all aspects of research, diagnosis, and treatment of hypertension, and related cardiovascular diseases.” It is an organization of over 3000 professional but it offers extensive information for the non-professional public. It can be found at

http://www.ash-us.org/

or the Web or write to 515 Madison Avenue, Suite 1212, New York, NY 10012. You can call them at 212-644-0650.

This Website provides names and addresses of specialists in the clinical treatment of high blood pressure who are members of the organization although it does not make recommendations of particular people.

You can obtain their pamphlet “Understanding Hypertension” from the Internet or by writing to them. Their other important publications include the American Journal of Hypertension and Current Concepts in Clinical Hypertension, a newsletter, both of which are directed towards the professional.

The National Institutes of Health has a number of useful topics on high blood pressure at

http://www.nih.gov/

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at

http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/

has valuable information on high blood pressure and your kidney. You can read about how high blood pressure damages the kidneys, how you can prevent it and what to do about it if it has started. The site also tells you where to get more information.

This publication is also available at the U. S. Government Printing Office whose address is in the previous discussion and is NIH Publication No 99-4572.

From this site you can find numerous publications on all aspects of kidney diseases. There are extensive descriptions of techniques for dialysis of the blood when the kidneys fail.

There are many publications offered in Spanish for this population of Americans. There are order forms so that you can order any of their publications in English or Spanish.

Since the kidney is one of the major organs that may both contribute to the high blood pressure and be damaged by it, it is appropriate to have a site devoted to the kidney. The site of the National Kidney Foundation fulfills this need very well. It is found at

http://www.kidney.org/

Its mission is to be a “major voluntary health organization, that seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.”

You can write them at National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd Street, Suite 1100, New York, NY 10016 or call 800-622-9010.

The site contains information about high blood pressure and your kidney. You can search seven categories of information: health information, donor family support, nutrition, treatment, rehabilitation, organ donation and health care services. If you choose health information, for example, you are presented with about 40 different topics that cover every aspect of disease that affects the kidney, many of the topics having to do with high blood pressure and kidney disease.

The National Kidney Foundation also publishes three different magazines, Family Focus for dialysis patients, Transplant Chronicles for people who have received a kidney transplant and For Those Who Give and Grieve, a publication for loved ones of organ donors.

The world renowned Mayo Clinic has extensive material on every aspect of disease including high blood pressure. The information on high blood pressure can be found at

http://www.mayoclinic.com

At this page you will find an discussion of high blood pressure with links to numerous other pages on their own site as well as many other Web sites that the Mayo Clinic believes to be valuable and authoritative.

Going to this site is like having a textbook of medicine available to you generally written in easily understood language. Finding an address or telephone number at this site is not easy but you can write to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota or call information to get the number. It is not likely that you will get nearly as much helpful information by writing or calling as you will find simply by going to their Web site.

The National Stroke Association at

http://www.stroke.org/

describes itself as “the only national non-profit organization in the United States devoting 100 percent of its resources to stroke through a variety of innovative and high impact programs”
They provide their “top 8 links” to the most common symptoms, recovery and rehabilitation, other important symptoms, stroke risk, what is a stroke, acute treatment, effects of stroke, and life at home, survivors and family. That just about covers what you need to know about brain attacks.

You can write to them at National Stroke Association, 9707 East Easter Lane, Englewood, CO 80112 or call them at 800-787-6537.

You can become a non-professional member of the organization and receive Stroke Smart magazine or if you are a professional, you can join the Professional Society and receive the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease as well as the journal Stroke: Clinical Updates.

One of the most useful features of the National Stroke Association site is the link to Related Web Sites and Products. Here you will find such important products as aids to daily living, products for incontinence and hygiene, special clothing for brain attack victims, computers and other communication devices that victims can use, lifts, elevators and ramps, reading and writing aids, walkers, wheelchairs and just about any other product that a brain attack victim could possibly need.

The Survivor and Care Giver Resources is invaluable for the loved ones of the brain attack victim. It provides information on support groups as well as life at home, dealing with rehabilitation for the patient and how the loved one can help.

There is a link to Clinical Trials that tells you about any ongoing studies of drugs after a brain attack and how you can play a role in the study if you have had a brain attack.

All in all, this site should be the first place you go if you need any information on any aspect of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for a brain attack.

Some other useful sites that you can check for yourself include the following:

Focus on High Blood Pressure at

http://www.medicinenet.com/high_blood_pressure/focus.htm

Blood Pressure and Hypertension at

http://www.blood-pressure-hypertension.com/

The DASH diet at

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/

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