High blood pressure is among the many risks that contribute to cardiovascular disease and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, women represent almost 52% of deaths from high blood pressure. As a risk that continues to aid in the expansion of kidney failure, eye damage and more, it is especially important for women to know their numbers.
The American Heart Association Hampton Roads has continued to work in health centers and facilities to implement programs that provide the resources needed for women to live heart healthy lifestyles. In a region made up of 7 cities, 38.9% of adults in the city of Hampton report suffering from high blood pressure.
Planned Parenthood physicians in Hampton, VA recognized the need and committed to completing the action items that would support a solution for patients and the community to be more cognizant of their individual risks.
As of March 2022, the American Heart Association Hampton Roads successfully implemented a self-monitoring blood pressure loaner program located on-site at Planned Parenthood. A total of 11 blood pressure monitors are housed in the clinic, allowing patients and visitors access to examine their health without an appointment. Through provider referral that suggests monitoring blood pressure in a non-clinical setting, patients are guided step by step, how to check their own blood pressure. With approximately 200 individuals visiting Planned Parenthood weekly, the impact continues to increase, with the support of the American Heart Association Hampton Roads.
“I noticed an alarming increase in how many of my patients were unaware of how to check their blood pressure and how many of them only checked if at a doctor’s appointment. I wanted to change that, and we have. We are excited to start offering this service,” expressed Planned Parenthood’s Primary Care Director.
The American Heart Association has conducted extensive research on the benefits of blood pressure programs with results proven to be effective at controlling hypertension. Reducing risks for women remains a priority for the American Heart Association, as 1 in 3 women will die of heart disease and 1 in 5 women will suffer from stroke.