Ted is the Communications Director for the Heart Disease and Stroke Program
Do you know your blood pressure (BP) numbers?
High blood pressure is known as “the silent killer,” and with good reason — there are usually no symptoms. Fact is, about one-third of American adults have high blood pressure and don’t know it. When people don’t know they have high blood pressure, it means they aren’t taking the medicine that could drastically reduce their risk for heart disease, a heart attack or stroke. In fact, 70 percent of people who have a stroke also have high blood pressure.
So, how do you find out your BP numbers? You have three easy options:
- At your next doctor’s appointment, make sure the nurse or doctor takes your blood pressure.
- Call your local community health center, or city hall to see when the next public BP screening takes place.
- Find a local pharmacy with a blood pressure kiosk
If your blood pressure is “normal,” that’s great. Just keep an eye on it, and ask your doctor how often you should have it measured.
If you have high blood pressure, it’s not the end of the world. Your doctor can prescribe medicine that will help lower your blood pressure, and you can do your part, too. Visit Mass in Motion for tips on eating better and moving more.
A third category of BP is “elevated,” and falls between “normal” and “high.” Also known as “pre-hypertension,” an elevated reading means you are in danger of your blood pressure becoming high. Eating better and moving more may help you lower your blood pressure.
Make sure your healthcare provider knows your BP results, in case he or she wants to prescribe medicine that may lower your blood pressure.
Check out the MA Department of Public Health’s two new blood pressure brochures and videos on getting checked and taking your medicine. Learn more about high blood pressure and stroke at www.mass.gov/heartstroke.
Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014 posted on Apr 18
This week’s flu report shows a late-season increase in the rate of flu-like illness in the state – an indication of the unpredictability of flu and a reminder of the importance of taking simple measures to stop the spread of illness in our homes and communities. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse
A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community posted on Apr 14
When it comes to our daily commute, we could all use a little inspiration. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to encourage employers in eastern Massachusetts to participate in the 2014 Walk/Ride Corporate Challenge — an annual competition that encourages workers to use …Continue Reading A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community