Million Hearts® - Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention National Initiative for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This information has recently been updated, and is available here:
February is American Heart Month
One in 3 American adults has high blood pressure. Million Hearts® offers new resources to Help Make Control Your Goal.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure [PDF-466K] is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. In fact, about 70 million Americans have high blood pressure.1 People with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease. High blood pressure often shows no signs or symptoms, which is why having your blood pressure checked regularly is important. Today, it is easier than ever to get your blood pressure checked. Along with your health care providers, blood pressure screening is available at pharmacies, drug stores, and even at home using a home blood pressure monitor.
Do you have high blood pressure? Make Control Your Goal
If you know you have high blood pressure, take these steps to help get it under control [PDF-689K]:
- Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be. Set a goal to lower your pressure with your doctor and discuss how you can reach your goal. Work with your health care team to make sure you meet that goal. Track your blood pressure over time. One way to do that is with this free wallet card [PDF-921K] from Million Hearts®.
- Take your blood pressure medication [PDF-538K] as directed. Set a timer on your phone to remember to take your medication at the same time each day. If you are having trouble with taking your medications on time, paying for your medications, or with side effects, ask your doctor what you can do to make it easier.
- Quit smoking—and if you don't smoke, don't start. You can find tips and resources at CDC's Smoking and Tobacco website.
- Reduce sodium intake. Most Americans consume too much sodium, and it raises blood pressure in most people. Read about ways to reduce your sodiumand visit the Million Hearts® Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Resource Center for heart healthy recipes and meal plans that are lower in sodium.
Learn more about how to reduce your risk for blood pressure and control it if you have high blood pressure athttp://millionhearts.hhs.gov/abouthds/blood_pressure.html.
Are you working with your patients to control their blood pressure?
- Detect. Work with your patients to accurately diagnose hypertension. Detection efforts—such as algorithms embedded in electronic health records—can identify patients with uncontrolled hypertension who are "hiding in plain sight."
- Connect. Connect your patients [PDF-330K] to appropriate clinical care and educational resources (such as on self-measured blood pressure monitoring [PDF-1M] and medication adherence [PDF-1.7M]).
- Control. Use evidence-based protocols to improve blood pressure control.
Join us for a Twitter Chat: For an engaging discussion with cardiovascular experts on how to improve your patients' blood pressure control, join Million Hearts®, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Minority Health, and the Association of Black Cardiologists on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. ET for a Twitter chat. Follow @MillionHeartsUS to join.
Spread the Word
Share information about heart health with your loved ones, colleagues, and friends this month. Join us for these activities:
- Visit http://twb.ly/zICsjl to promote American Heart Month and heart health through your social media channels during February.
- Be part of the American Heart Month Thunderclap by visiting http://thndr.it/1yt3loQ. Million Hearts® hopes to share 100 of the same action-oriented messages about heart health on the same day—Friday, February 27. It only happens if enough people sign up to share the message, so join now!
- Celebrate Wear Red Day on Friday, February 6 by taking a photo of you and your loved ones wearing red and sharing on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook using #ActsofRed and #heartmonth. Include the things YOU do to stay heart-healthy all year long.
Connect with Our Partners
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Minority Health
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
- American Heart Association
- American Medical Association
- American Medical Group Association
- Association of Black Cardiologists
- Wall, H., Hannah, J., & Wright, J. (2014). Patients with undiagnosed hypertension: Hiding in plain sight. Journal of the American Medical Association, 312(19), 1973–1974.