Nashville, TN – Nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure and many don’t even know they have it. In fact, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is the second leading cause of preventable heart disease and stroke death.
This May the American Heart Association is encouraging the Middle Tennessee community to #CheckIt.
“As a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, if we don’t help more adults control their blood pressure, we risk continual reversal of progress made fighting cardiovascular disease here in Middle Tennessee,” says Greg Allen, chairman of the Middle Tennessee American Heart Association Board of Directors.
The American Heart Association’s #CheckIt campaign is encouraging all communities to:
1) Check your blood pressure; many local pharmacies offer free blood pressure checks
2) Know what these numbers mean
3) Talk to your doctor to develop a plan to keep this key health indicator in a healthy range
4) Encourage friends and family to do the same by posting a photo on social media of you getting your blood pressure checked so others will be encouraged to do it as well, using the hashtag #CheckIt
High blood pressure is a silent killer that causes unnecessary and inequitable disease, disability, and death. It can cause heart attacks, heart failure, stroke and can even increase risk for serious complications or death from COVID-19 Coronavirus.
These pre-existing conditions are also contributing to racial disparities in coronavirus death rates. Black Americans have among the highest rates of high blood pressure in the world and nearly half of Hispanic adults have high blood pressure and may not know it.
“Challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have made the past year difficult for many, including those here in Middle Tennessee. Activities that negatively impact heart health are on the rise, such as stress and unhealthy eating, while choices that help keep our hearts healthy have decreased. In addition to being less physically active, many patients have skipped medications, doctor’s visits, and even delayed care in emergency situations,” said Allen.
“It is critical that everyone take the time to get their blood pressure checked and that’s why we are supporting the #CheckIt campaign here in Nashville,” Allen stated.
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 and blood pressure can be largely controlled through a combination of lifestyle changes or medication or both.
To learn more about blood pressure visit heart.org/bloodpressure.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health, and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on Heart.org/Nashville, or by calling 1.800.AHA.USA1.