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Harlem Word: Dr. Richard Younge on blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, Part II

Dr. Richard Younge is a family physician at the Herman "Denny" Farrell, Jr., Community Health Center in Washington Heights where he treats patients of all ages and backgrounds. (http://www.nyp.org/services/acn_morgan_practice.html)

Q: When you do identify a problem like high blood pressure or high cholesterol do you have suggestions for action steps toward change or do you mostly prescribe drugs?

A: Some people do really take an active role in making the lifestyle changes that are so important in treating these types of diseases. I guess I would say in terms of the medical profession, sometimes it's so much easier just to write a prescription than to really sit down and talk to a patient and listen to where their lives are at and counsel them about the lifestyle changes that they need to make. But I think if we are to be successful we need to learn how to do that more effectively, to really make our patients an active partner in the changes they need to make to lose weight, or to lower their cholesterol or reduce the sodium in their diet to improve their blood pressure.

Q: What are ways to prevent high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels?

A: In general, it's a good idea to exercise and be active to the extent that you can. The recommendation is for everybody to try to do about 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Go for a walk, ride a stationary bike if you have one, go out jogging if that's possible. Diet is also a key component in preventing disease complications.

Read more from Dr. Younge by clicking the links below:

Harlem Word is a series of interviews with Northern Manhattan health experts, written by HHPC and reviewed by our Health Advisory Board.

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