February is American Heart Month. During the love month, Americans are encouraged to focus on their heart health and spread awareness to others. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and North Carolina, with over 600,000 Americans affected yearly. Risk factors for heart disease include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and high alcohol use.
While your blood pressure is typically checked at routine doctor appointments, people at risk for high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, are often advised to monitor their blood pressure at home. The American Heart Association donated $3,000 to our Open Door Clinic for a range of at-home blood pressure cuffs to support and raise awareness of uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Providing blood pressure cuffs for patients to use at home allows patients to take ownership of their hypertension management. The cuffs enable the patients to be aware of their readings and healthcare outcomes. It is a way for them to visually see how taking their medications as prescribed and other parts of their daily routine may impact their blood pressure. It also provides a way for the provider and the patient to set maintainable goals, allowing the patient to monitor their progress when checking their blood pressure outside of the clinic. 33.3% of patients who received a cuff saw a decrease.
The American Heart Association continues to live up to its mission of fighting heart disease. We thank them for their donation and ongoing efforts to raise awareness of blood pressure and the essential steps everyone can take to improve their heart health.