According to the CDC, more than 67 million Georgians have high blood pressure and many more may be at risk.
To combat this issue and reduce a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease, the Metro Atlanta American Heart Association/American Stroke Association launched the Check. Change. Control. program to help residents identify, lower and maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
And now, Grammy award winner, Atlanta resident and congestive heart failure survivor Ann Nesby will be introduced as a local spokesperson for the cause through a new PSA.
Check. Change. Control is a free initiative focused on the power of support. Participants are matched with volunteer mentors, encouraged to check their blood pressure regularly, and given resources to help them reach their blood pressure goals. Mentors monitor results and offer support through phone calls, texts, email or face-to-face meetings. To check progress, participants and mentors use the American Heart Association’s online health tracking tool, Heart360.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, affects one in three Americans, and occurs when blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or higher. African Americans in the United States have the highest rates of high blood pressure than any group in the world.
“My grandparents, parents, sister and many of my fans have been affected by high blood pressure and/or heart disease. It’s killing our communities and we have to get it under control,” said Ann Nesby. “Through Check. Change. Control., the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is not just providing knowledge and resources. It’s offering a personal connection to motivate people to keep their blood pressure controlled to healthy levels.”
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is piloting the program in more than 50 cities across the country. Preliminary results show that those who began the study with blood pressure higher than 150/90 mmHg, systolic pressure (top number) decreased by 24.2 mmHg and diastolic pressure (bottom number) decreased by 10 mmHg. Eventually, 70 percent of participants had a blood pressure lower than 140/90 or a 10 mmHg decrease in systolic pressure.
The initiative is one way the Association and its volunteers are working toward the overall goal of improving cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020.
For information about high blood pressure, visit http://www.heart.org/hbp.