Hypertension forces Harr into early retirement - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hypertension forces Harr into early retirement

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Health issues are forcing the President and CEO of the Chattanooga area Chamber of Commerce into an unexpected and early retirement.

Ronn Harr announced on Monday his retirement will become effective July first, per the advice of his doctor.

Harr says he was diagnosed with extreme Hypertension.

Many Americans deal with it and many don't know they even have it.

"The problem with high blood pressure is it is one of the more common medical conditions we see, affecting over a third of adults," said Doctor Allen Atchley.

Half of those don't have it under control, hence it's nick name the silent killer, because many have no clue they have it.

 "People don't know they have it until they develop other symptoms associated with high blood pressure," said Atchley.

While hypertension can be genetic, your lifestyle can also play a factor. Too much stress and anxiety from your job or other activities can be problematic.

"Anxiety or stress can aggravate or worsen hypertension, but it's natural for blood pressure to fluctuate with stress exercise and other things and will usually turn back to normal once the stress or anxiety has been addressed," Atchley.

Atchley says it's when the blood pressure doesn't return to normal that you have to worry and could require lifestyle changes.

"Like exercise, dietary modifications, lower sodium intake and even take some time for meditation or time away from stresses for some relaxation," said Atchley.

For most people their job isn't affected.  However Atchley says others are as lucky.

"But sometimes if high blood pressure is leading to other advanced health problems, you need to do what you need to do to get control," said Atchley.

Megan Vermeer with the YMCA says high blood pressure can be prevented, with a healthy diet and a little exercise.

"Maintaining a healthy weight for one and then engaging in 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, biking, water aerobics," said Vermeer.

Atchley recommends regular screenings of blood pressure, especially if it runs in your family, so it can be discovered in earlier forms before it leads to more severe things.

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