Barely half of the 86 million Americans with high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) have it under control. Another factor in this equation is that 16 percent of the people with high blood pressure are completely unaware that they have this symptomless “silent killer.”
The challenge: High blood pressure is often the first domino in a chain or “domino effect” leading to devastating consequences, like heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and more. Unless we can stop the first domino from falling, by raising awareness of how to prevent and control high blood pressure, the chain reaction is almost inevitable.
The solution: A simple blood pressure check is the first step to preventing the “domino effect.” On May 17, 2017, World Hypertension Day, the American Heart Association (AHA), the Baltimore City Council and public and private community partners in Baltimore City came together to encourage people to take the first step in improving their heart health and tackling this preventable cause of death by checking their blood pressure. Area residents could have their blood pressure checked at various Baltimore City locations throughout the day; a complete list of participating partners and sites and screening hours can be found here.
The results: More than 20 sites provided free blood pressure screenings throughout the day, with one site logging more than 240 screenings. Baltimore City Mayor, Catherine Pugh and City Council President Jack Young presented a proclamation naming May 17 World Hypertension Day to Greater Maryland Chair, Jack Lewin during a morning press conference outside of City Hall. Cameras from three major news stations – ABC2, WBAL and WJZ – and local station – Charm City TV – were in attendance. Pre-event coverage was also secured, including interviews for key volunteers and opinion leaders as well as PSAs promoting May 17 activities.
One of our volunteers was featured in the Afro American during Stroke Month. Read here about Vincent Sharps blood pressure story. He is a testament to why we need to continue to #CheckIt and then Check. Change. Control. You can sign up at www.ccctracker.com.