Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Making the Most of May is Even More Important

Higher Stakes

May is both National Blood Pressure Education and National Stroke Awareness Month. This has increased importance as we face the COVID-19 global pandemic. Developing information indicates that people with hypertension and coronary heart disease are at higher risk for developing severe illness and symptoms of COVID-19. Stroke survivors may also face increased risk for complications if they get COVID-19.

Under American Heart Association guidelines, nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure and 75% of those with high blood pressure do not have it controlled. This means there is more work to do to help American adults understand their numbers and risks of this “silent killer.”

We are a part of the Million Hearts® Collaboration, an important alliance in fighting heart disease and stroke, and we are lifting our voices together to share evidence-based strategies to gain control of your high blood pressure and to recognize a stroke or heart attack fast.

Actions You Can Take

For your practice: share a link to a stroke prevention handout at the completion of a telehealth session or on your social media channels and dedicate a week during May to decorate the office with stroke prevention messages.

For your staff and members: take this time to encourage everyone to check their own blood pressure with this comprehensive interactive blood pressure tool from the American Heart Association.

For a COVID-19 conversation: share the latest guidance and remind patients and stakeholders to continue taking their medications.

For your first responders: during National EMS Week, May 17-23, recognize EMS Professionals in your community with social media shout out or a care package.

For yourself: get back in the routine of self-monitoring your blood pressure with this simple recording log.

Preventing heart disease and stroke is the goal of the Million Hearts® Collaboration. That charge feels more important than ever with nearly 68 million people in the United States having high blood pressure and just 1 in 2 adults with high blood pressure having it under control. But there is opportunity in every prevention and education message we share and every small change a person makes. We’ve Got This!

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