New guidelines mean half of Americans have high blood pressure
March 29, 2018 — PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Heart disease is the second-largest cause of death in North Carolina.1 In 2016 alone, it claimed the lives of more than 18,000 North Carolinians, led to more than 103,000 hospital admissions and produced $5.2 billion in hospital charges in the state.2
The good news is that heart disease can be prevented. There are steps you can take today to reduce your risk. But new blood pressure guidelines recently released by the American Heart Association mean nearly half of U.S. adults are now considered to have high blood pressure.
“Preventing heart disease requires collaboration between patient and doctor,” said Dr. Andrea Gelzer, chief medical officer of AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in health solutions for people in need. “When people understand the underlying causes of heart disease such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking, they can be more active participants in their own heart health. The new blood pressure guidelines mean it is more important than ever to get your blood pressure checked and speak to your doctor about the results.”
Here are some foundational ABCs to maintaining a healthy heart:
Ask your doctor if you should be taking an aspirin each day.
In November, 2017 the American College of Cardiology revised the recommended blood pressure level from 140/90 to 130/80, placing millions more Americans in the high blood pressure category. Consult the infographic to view the new blood pressure targets.
Get tested and work with your doctor to lower your cholesterol if necessary.
Stop smoking or don’t start. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you’re a smoker, quit as soon as possible. Get help at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or www.smokefree.gov.
New Important Guidelines You Need to Know
What are considered “safe numbers”?
Making sure your medical measurements are normal is an important part of your health. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or heart disease, please talk with your doctor to see what measurements are recommended for you.
For more information
To learn more ways to reduce your risk, visit millionhearts.hhs.gov.
About AmeriHealth Caritas
AmeriHealth Caritas is part of the Independence Health Group in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. AmeriHealth Caritas is one of the nation’s leaders in health care solutions for those most in need. Operating in 16 states and the District of Columbia, AmeriHealth Caritas serves approximately 5.6 million Medicaid, Medicare and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) members through its integrated managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management and specialty pharmacy services, behavioral health services, and other administrative services. Headquartered in Philadelphia, AmeriHealth Caritas is a mission-driven organization with more than 35 years of experience serving low-income and chronically ill populations. For more information, visit www.amerihealthcaritas.com.
1 North Carolina State Fact Sheet. American Heart Association, 2015. https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/downloadable/ucm_472867.pdf
2 Heart and Blood Vessel Disease in North Carolina Fact Sheet. North Carolina Division of Public Health, December 2017. http://startwithyourheart.com/Resources/_downloads/CCCPH_FactSheet_HeartDisease_FINAL_Dec2017.pdf