Down with High Blood Pressure
May is High Blood Pressure Education Month. Also called hypertension, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the #1 and #4 leading causes of death in the United States.
High Blood Pressure Facts
Think you don't need to worry about high blood pressure? Think again. The following statistics from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) paint a troubling picture of hypertension in America:
- 1 in 3 — or 67 million — American adults have high blood pressure.1
- People with high blood pressure are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease.1
- 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% of people who have a first stroke, and 74% of people with chronic heart failure also have high blood pressure.1
In addition, research reveals that minorities face unique challenges with high blood pressure.
- Black Americans are 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension than White Americans.2
- Among Hispanics who experienced a stroke, 72% had high blood pressure, compared to 66% in White Americans.3
Make Control Your Goal
Only about half of people suffering from high blood pressure have it under control.1 The good news is, you can take steps to control hypertension. If your blood pressure is higher than 120/80, take these steps to get it under control:
- Take blood pressure medication as directed by your doctor4
- Check your blood pressure regularly1
- Quit — or don't start — smoking1
- Eat a heart-healthy diet, which includes:
- More fruits, vegetables, potassium and whole grains1
- Less sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol1
- Limit alcohol intake to 1 drink per day for females and 2 drinks per day for males1
- Get at least 30 minutes of activity per day and maintain a healthy weight1
Resources from Million Hearts™
Close the Gap has partnered with Million Hearts™ to bring you resources that will help you better understand high blood pressure and the steps you can take to prevent or treat it.
- My Blood Pressure Journal. Use this journal on a daily basis to record your blood pressure readings and prescription information and to help you reach your heart health goals. Included are questions to ask your pharmacist or doctor if you are worried about your condition or medication(s).
- Medication Tracker Wallet Card. Use this pocket-sized card to keep track of your medications and refills.
- Blood Pressure Control Infographic. Post this in a visible spot to use as a daily reminder of how and why it's important to lower your blood pressure.
What's Your Risk?
Use our assessment tool to find out if you're at risk for developing heart disease.Assess your risk now
Who's at Risk?
Certain populations are at a greater risk for heart disease.Know the facts
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