National High Blood Pressure Education Month
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Urges Americans To Take Control of Their Hypertension!
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month and this year's theme highlights the threat of uncontrolled hypertension. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) urges Americans: "If Your Blood Pressure Is Not Lower Than 140/90, Ask Your Doctor Why."
The NHLBI is part of the National Institutes of Health. NHLBI sponsors the hypertension month effort with the National High Blood Pressure Education Program (NHBPEP), which it coordinates. High blood pressure affects about 50 million--or one in four--American adults. Of those with hypertension, about 68 percent are aware of their condition--but only 27 percent have it under control. The reasons for this include not taking drugs as prescribed and/or not taking a medication that sufficiently lowers blood pressure.
Hypertension can lead to stroke, heart failure, or kidney damage. To help prevent that, blood pressure must be lowered to less than 140/90 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury). Normal blood pressure is less than 130/less than 85 mm Hg. "We advise Americans to talk about their blood pressure with their doctor," said NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. "They should have their blood pressure checked and, if it's high, ask about adjusting their medication and whether they've made the necessary lifestyle changes to bring it to below 140/90."
The lifestyle changes to control high blood pressure are: lose weight, if overweight; become physically active; choose foods lower in salt and sodium; and limit alcohol intake
Office of Health Disparities & Health Equity
PO Box 95026
Lincoln, NE 68509-5026