The American Heart Association (AHA) and American Medical Association (AMA) recognized Virginia Cardiovascular Specialists, VCU Health System and Central Virginia Health Services as leaders in their national initiative, called Target: BP, to get people’s blood pressure under control and reduce the number of Americans who have heart attacks and strokes each year. Virginia Cardiovascular Specialists achieved Gold status, while VCU Health System and Central Virginia Health Services achieved Participant status recognition.
“Blood pressure control has and will continue to be a health priority in our community, “ says Michelle Nostheide, Executive Director for the American Heart Association in Greater Richmond. “High blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking. Richmond has over 200,000 adults with high blood pressure, with many areas having greater than 27% prevalence. Some communities, like the East End, have rates over 50%. We have to change that, together.”
About 103 million adults (nearly half) in the United States have high blood pressure. Research shows that high blood pressure is a contributing factor to major health conditions including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health concerns. Research also shows that 45.6% of those with high blood pressure are not controlled, that’s 36.7 million people!
It is estimated that high blood pressure costs the country about $131 billion each year. These costs range from health care services and medications to missed days of work.
More than 1,600 physician practices and health systems nationwide have joined Target: BP™, sharing a common goal to reduce the number of adult patients with uncontrolled blood pressure and improve health outcomes associated with heart disease. Join Target: BP and be a part of this national movement to build a healthier America, starting today.
The American Heart Association, Richmond is working with local partners to improve access to and consumption of healthy foods, catalyze efforts to improve social determinants of health and improve access to and quality of primary care in Greater Richmond. We are grateful for our volunteers and supporters who are a relentless force for longer, healthier lives for everyone in the Richmond area. Keeping hearts beating is what keeps our hearts pumping.