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Ill. urges cut in sodium to lower blood pressure

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 7:38 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — Officials say reducing sodium consumption by 30 percent could prevent more than 100,000 cases of high blood pressure in Illinois and save $200 million in medical costs.

May is High Blood Pressure Education Month. The Illinois Department of Public health is encouraging health lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of high blood pressure.

One in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, but many are unaware of it for lack of symptoms.

Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is Illinois' public health director. He says high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Hasbrouck says quitting smoking, getting exercise and having a diet low in sodium but with a good variety of fruits and vegetables can help reduce those risks.

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