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The Heart of Good Health

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Blood Pressure Control a Focus of American Heart Month

CAREGiver with nurse and senior in exam.jpgIt's often called the silent killer. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As a matter of fact, more than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure, according to the CDC.

People with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease compared with those who have normal blood pressure. High blood pressure often shows no symptoms, which is why monitoring blood pressure is so important.

This American Hearth Month, the CDC and Million Hearts®, a national effort to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 2017, are encouraging individuals to know their blood pressure and, if it is high, to make control their goal. You can get screened at a doctor's office or check your blood pressure at home with a blood pressure monitor.

Following are ways to help take control:

  • Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be. Talk with a doctor about how you can reach your goals.
  • Take blood pressure medicine as directed. Set a timer to remember to take your medicine at the same time each day.
  • Quit smoking and, if you don't smoke, don't start. Find tips on quitting at the CDC's Smoking and Tobacco website.
  • Reduce sodium intake. Most people consume too much sodium, which could raise blood pressure.

For more about the Million Hearts program and other ways to prevent heart disease, visit And for more about reducing the kind of stress that could lead to high blood pressure and heart disease, take the Caregiver Distress Assessment.


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