There are many health conditions that develop as a person is aging and most of them are considered to be inevitable. Nevertheless, many of them can be prevented in case the risk of having them is identified. For example, the participant under consideration is likely to develop hypertension because there are many cases of this disease among his older relatives, which means he has a genetic predisposition to hypertension.
Still, hypertension is a preventable disease, and its development can be avoided by mitigating one or more risk factors. In the case of the individual whose family genetic history is analyzed, the major factor that has to be considered in the context of hypertension is diet. The purpose of this paper is to identify a preventable disease, develop an evidence-based intervention as well as suggest a plan for its implementation, and evaluate the selected intervention.
Preventable Disease Overview
The disease is the focus of this paper is hypertension also known as high blood pressure. The blood pressure of a healthy individual can rise and fall during the day, but when it remains high for a long time, there appears a risk of damaging the heart, which, in turn, can lead to further health problems. Frequently, people do not observe any evident symptoms of high blood pressure until they measure it.
The disease is often called the “silent killer” due to the lack of characteristic warning signs that make people visit a doctor and be examined (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Still, some of the common symptoms observed by some individuals are headaches and vomiting. The major symptom, the high blood pressure itself, can only be measured by healthcare professionals or by patients themselves.
Hypertension is diagnosed based on the measurement of systolic and diastolic pressures. Usually, blood pressure greater than 130/80 is considered to be hypertension. Thus, the only way to diagnose this condition is to provide regular blood pressure measurements. Still, after hypertension is diagnosed, such tests as electrocardiogram and echocardiogram can be organized. They check the heartbeat and assess the heart’s value thus evaluating the negative impact of hypertension on the cardiovascular system of the patient.
The adult participant of this project is at a high risk of developing hypertension due to many cases of this disease in his family including his mother. Currently, the patient experiences fatigue and shortness of breath, which can also be signs of hypertension. It can be concluded that his genetic predisposition to cardiovascular problems on the whole and hypertension, in particular, are the risk factors for developing this disease.
Hypertension can be prevented in two basic ways, by practicing healthy living habits and due to avoidance or timely treatment of certain medical conditions. Diet, as one of the integral components to a healthy lifestyle, is the selected intervention for this project. There is clinical evidence that overweight and obesity are the risk factors for hypertension as well as increased cholesterol levels (Booth III et al., 2017).
Both factors can be mitigated by a change in diet and reduction or exclusion of consumption of certain food can be beneficial for patients at high risk of hypertension. For example, Amoh-Menash, Ankomah, Karikari, and Artyhur (2017) investigate the effect of salt, garlic, fish oil, chocolate, and vitamin D as components of diet able to prevent hypertension. Their study analyzes previous research and provides supporting evidence of the positive effect that these foods have on hypertension prevention.
Still, further research based on clinical trials is necessary to prove the efficiency of these foods in a diet for people at risk of hypertension. Thus, a change in diet as an intervention for patients who are likely to develop hypertension can be applied and will include patient education about products as well as vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for reducing the increased blood pressure.
Implementation: Teaching Plan
The method of patient education with an experiment will be the main intervention within this project. A group of patients in the condition of pre-hypertension will be selected for the experiment. As the first step, patients will be examined by a physician and a cardiologist to check their general health condition and blood pressure in particular. Secondly, patients will complete a survey about their lifestyle and dietary habits. Thirdly, a nutritionist will be involved to consult every participant and develop a diet based on the patient’s condition. Finally, every patient will receive an individual menu that should be followed to reduce blood pressure and improve health conditions on the whole. Patients will have information support through the web portal of the experiment and will get handouts with the necessary information. Moreover, the nutritionist will provide consultation during the experiment and make changes in diet in case of necessity.
Evaluation of the project effectiveness will be conducted through blood pressure measurement before and after the experiment. In case the plan is effective, blood pressure is expected to reduce. In case the intervention proves to be unsuccessful, the results will be analyzed and changes will be made to contribute to intervention effectiveness.
On the whole, hypertension is a highly prevalent health problem in the United States. Still, it can be successfully prevented if people follow certain guidelines and are ready to change lifestyle habits. The current project is aimed at increasing the awareness of people at risk of hypertension about the approaches that can prevent hypertension or reduce the risk of its development. However, such interventions demand careful preparation and should be grounded on evidence-based information.
Amoh-Menash, K., Ankomah, S. E., Karikari, A. K., & Artyhur, J. A. (2017). Prevention of hyopertension: A critical review of health benefits of salt, garlic, fish oil, chocolate and vitamin D. International Journal of Medical Sciences and Technology, 7(7), 38-46.
Booth III, J. N., Li, J., Zhang, L., Chen, L., Munter, P., & Egan, B. (2017). Trends in prehypertension and hypertension risk factors in US adults. Hypertension, 70(2), 275-284.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). About high blood pressure. Web.